Friday, November 9, 2012

Reminders about suffering

Everyone I know is hurting. I've never seen or felt anything like this. There is a death pall over half of America and we are mourning as if someone has truly died. I can't count how many mothers (and some fathers!) I know have literally wept for their children and future grandchildren in the past three days, believing that we've hit that dreaded tipping point of dependency and secularism, and that America is through. I don't know if it's true that the America we love is toast, but that's what it feels like right now.

So, we suffer. It's hard. I hate it. But Catholics: We know that it's necessary to suffer for sanctification. Suffering is promised to us, gifted to us, and modeled by our Savior.

As we all sort through the implications and aftermath of the elections, I thought I'd re-offer the posts I've written about suffering, since I'm not ready to dive into any new stuff quite yet….

In my quest to understand modern liberalism, I have discovered that for the secular left, the worst thing in life is suffering or potential suffering. Not sin, not evil, not even death. It is suffering that must be avoided at all costs…. (read on)

The late, great John Cardinal O'Connor of New York once told a suffering woman, "Christ could have saved the world by His miracles, but He chose to save the world by His suffering."  (read on)

Yes, I loved him, and yes I had the power to end his suffering, but I wasn't going to do it. I knew something that he couldn't have known then: I was allowing this suffering for his healing and restoration, not for his harm. I could be trusted. (read on)


I will also offer one of many good political analyses I've seen, this one from Jonah Goldberg, who at least touches on something we've discussed here before: The human soul must fill the "God void" in the soul, and for those who have no god, the state will almost certainly fill that role. In fact, progressivism wants the state to fill that role, and the family stands as its main obstacle….

According to the founders' vision, the people are sovereign and the government belongs to us. Under the European notion of the state, the people are creatures of the state, significant only as parts of the whole …. 
If only married people voted, Romney would have won in a landslide. If only married religious people voted, you'd need a word that means something much bigger than landslide. (read on)

Goldberg references the creepy, soulless "Life of Julia" to illustrate the paternalistic (godlike) role of the Hand of State to carry a single woman from cradle to grave. Shiver. The fact that the Obama administration (or anyone!) would see this eerie "life journey" appealing and a selling point makes me realize again how lost we have become as a nation.

"As the family goes, so goes the nation and so goes the whole world in which we live." -- Blessed John Paul II


Even though this is not a Quick Takes, I want to put out some orphan news, because at this point, we can use all the good news that we can get!

Check out what's happened to my sweet Oliver, here!

And I'll leave you with an image of sweet Marina, who is a four-year-old doll baby with Down Syndrome, just waiting for a family of her very own:

Click my picture for more information!

Quick note for the Phoenix folks: Come join me and all of our "friends for life" at the BDF event next Friday! Sign up, here. Cannot wait to see you all. We always have a blast together!



  1. You hit the nail on the head with the feelings and emotions that are going on with my husband and I. Tears and pain and suffering.
    I would love to hear how you and others are dealing with family who we need to see at Thanksgiving and not get emotional upset with them. It is so personal and so deep the divide is.
    still crying here.

  2. Regarding the "State as God" section: I recently read "Lord of the World" by Robert Hugh Benson...written over a century ago; a cautionary tale in light of our current trajectory.

  3. Thank you, Leila. I am a long time reader, first time commenter and I have to say, when the scale started swinging towards our President the other night, I cried, turned off the TV and went to bed. Reading this reminds me we will be tough, we will be strong. . . we will survive. Thank you.

  4. Powerful powerful stuff. How great is our God! His plan is better than any of us can imagine, even during the suffering.

  5. The day after the elections, I wept off and on. I wept for myself, my children, and our country. It was difficult to understand why God wouldn't answer our prayers in the way we wanted. But I remembered that God is a mystery; we won't always understand His ways. It's only in good faith, as you said, to make the most of this suffering, and let it make us holy.

    I found a great quote on suffering, among others:

    “I see around me a multitude of those who, blindly persevering in error, despise the true God; but I am a Christian nevertheless, and I follow the instruction of the Apostles. If this deserves chastisement, reward it; for I am determined to suffer every torture rather then become the slave of the devil. Others may do as they please since they are [...] reckless of the future life, which is to be obtained only by sufferings. Scripture tells us that "narrow is the way that leads to life" [...] because it is one of affliction and of persecutions suffered for the sake of justice; but it is wide enough for those who walk upon it, because their faith and the hope of an eternal reward make it so for them. [...] On the contrary, the road of vice is in reality narrow, and it leads to an eternal precipice.”
    --Saint Leo of Patara

  6. Great comments and references, guys. I love hearing from the saints that came before us. Especially knowing that they shared exactly the same faith, even centuries and cultures apart. I love the universality of the Church!!

    This is also a great thing to remember…

    "Christ’s modus operandi is always the same: He loses battles, then wins wars."

    More here:

  7. Sorry I have been MIA lately - We've been dealing with several issues that have come up relatively recently and they have required my full attention. But as I caught this post this morning I have to say, I was thinking about something similar to this just a few hours ago - (great minds think alike? or maybe I was just lucky. :) )

    While I agree with you that this void in the lives of secularized people is being filled by the "nanny-state" that they're creating, will only be satisfied when they turn back to God - what I was thinking about this morning was how much impact the "Feminist" Movement of the 1960's, '70's and '80's has contributed to this Godlessness. When I think about, they spent years, decades, darn close to half a century or longer telling women that they "don't need a man," claiming inaccurately that "men don't need women" so women need to become "independent of men". Well, what we've learned by all of this falsity is that in all actuality WE (women and men) NEED someone or something and since we're supposed to be soooo independent, not relying on anyone else but ourselves, we've created a government that provides what we need so that we can continue in our delusion of grandeur that we're still somehow independent of each other. It's BS and I'm calling it.

    Most importantly we need God, but I think before we are able to get people to turn back to God, we need to get them to turn back to each other, and realize the importance of community and real relationships (not the fake ones people emulate from t.v.) and the understanding that we all have a responsibility to help one another, directly, not through government bureaucracy.

    Anyway, that's my two cents.

  8. Bethany, spot on! Leila, great post.

  9. Well if you believe that there is no God, the universe is essentially an accident, and there is nothing beyond death but oblivion, then it would make perfect sense that the thing you fear most is suffering.

  10. The post made me think of St. Francis of Assisi, and other saints, who WELCOMED suffering to better share in the cross of Christ. And yes, suffering thus accepted can be offered for the world's salvation. Christ is with us always. Glory to the Father...

  11. Nicholas, absolutely! It makes perfect sense. That's why I always said it's a good thing I am not an atheist. I would seek comfort and avoid suffering at every point, and I would agree with Peter Singer's utilitarianism completely. He has said that even his views on infanticide (even up to three months after birth) is all about net reduction of suffering. Suffering for animals as well, by the way. I heard him say he would be for the elimination of all chickens from the planet, if it would take away chickens' suffering. That is why I don't know why they don't just put bullets in the heads of all the poor and sick? Although, euthanasia is certainly a step in that direction. I say their worldview death before suffering makes perfect sense in a godless, ultimately meaningless world.

  12. I like this quote from an amazing book I have read and recommend for everyone to read, especially now that we are in this oppressive situation (The book is "He Leadeth Me" by Father Walter Ciszek)

    "No situation is ever without its worth and purpose in God’s providence. It is a very human temptation to feel frustrated by circumstances, to feel overwhelmed and helpless in the face of the established order—whether that order is an NKVD prison, or the whole Soviet system, or “the status quo,”…or the whole, oppressive rotten world!"

  13. is now wondering if you people really know how to define the word suffer.

    and I guess by reading this any of my friends who believe in god can know thank god because we got the outcome we wanted.

  14. Agnes, Jennifer Fulwiler always recommends that book! I need to get it. :)

    Alan, that seems rather insulting. You don't think all people suffer? You don't think Catholics can suffer persecution? We Catholics will be feeling it in the years ahead, and we are anticipating what is to come, and preparing.

    And yes, Alan, sometimes God allows people the outcome that they want, even when that outcome contradicts what is good and true. He does allow us to feel the consequences of our actions and intents, both here and in eternity. He does not always shield us from the outcomes we demand.

  15. Since the election I have been struggling with feelings of both sadness and anger. I feel so angry at those who voted,in essence, against morality, the American work ethic, and freedom. I want to scream at every one of them. I'm trying to fight these and other feelings by meditating on various Bible stories.

    The first one that comes to mind is the story of the crowd shouting, "Barrabas!, Barrabas!" , in response to the question, "Who do you want me to release?". The crowd chose a murderer over Jesus. And rather than shoutin back at them, like I would have wanted to, Jesus humbled himself and accepted their choice, knowing they didn't understand what they were doing.

    The second story that comes to mind is the story of Job, who remained faithful despite having had everything taken from him. In these last few days I have even felt anger at God and have struggled with prayer.

    The third story that comes to mind is the story of the man who hired the day laborers. He paid the same amount to those that only worked an hour as those that had worked the whole day. Those that worked all day resented the fact that those who only worked an hour were paid just as much as they were. These past couple of days I have found myself angry that God will eventually forgive those who have turned their backs on him in this election because sooner or later they'll undoubtedly regret their decisions and repent. And what about those of us who have remained faithful and will now suffer because of the immoral decisions of others? What benefit is there in living a Godly life and putting up with persecution if those who are doing the persecuting will be forgiven anyway?

    As you can see, To be thinking thoughts like this, I'm really struggling. I'm a bit ashamed of myself and in need of prayers.

    One day at a time.

  16. SimplyCJ, understood. And you know what helps me? The words of the father to the older son, who was bitter, in the Prodigal Son story:

    "You are always with me, and everything I have is yours."

    We can't get much more blessed than that. :)

  17. Leila, I am sorry if you find that insulting. Wish you would turn that insightfulness on insulting to some of your catholic brethren who comment here, rather than excuse their being insulting. Guess that wont happen any time soon.

    And it was not meant to be insulting, but rather a wake up. If you think President Obama causes you to "suffer" then I question if you know what the word means. Sorry, it is what it is. But people suffer real suffering every day, the one you want not being elected, your feeling that his health care plan violates your religious rights, my desire to have gay marriage legal throughout the country is not suffering. I am horribly sorry if you find that insulting, but sorry it just really is not suffering.

    And sometimes god does shield us from the outcomes we desire. But sometimes what we think is right and best isn't. We all see that, it's just that we disagree on what is right and best.

  18. CJ
    "since the election I have been struggling with feelings of both sadness and anger. I feel so angry at those who voted,in essence, against morality, the American work ethic, and freedom."

    I assure you we voted against none of those things.

  19. I recently came across your blog and have really been enjoying it. I came across the article in the link below Wednesday evening after a horribly sad and emotional day. I got peace from it. I've been really pondering and listening to where and what God wants me to do to step it up. We Christians/Catholics have the chance to be more united than ever and I hope and pray that when the going gets tough(er) we will continue to be strong and stand by our leaders in Christ and be obedient. So many are waiting for us to give in and join the world.

  20. Alan, I wanted to point out from an unbiased source (the dictionary) as to what suffering means:

    suffer: to undergo or feel pain or distress

    distress: great pain, anxiety, or sorrow; acute physical or mental suffering; affliction; trouble

    So you see, there are many forms of suffering which one can endure. From your context, I interpret the "real" suffering you are referring to focuses on the "acute physical or mental suffering" part of distress, such as injury resulting in permanent disability, death of loved one, starvation, contracting a debilitating disease, etc. I in no way mean to downplay the gravity of those forms of suffering, but rather show they are just one form of suffering.

    As Catholics taking in the gravity of what is to come as a result of our President's re-election, we fall under the "great pain, anxiety or sorrow" portion of suffering. Our hearts are filled with sorrow at the further depths of moral and social decay that our nation will endure as a result of the policies which an Obama administration promotes (abortion, gay marriage, etc.). We are overcome with anxiety in foreseeing the enormous debt our children and children's children will have to shoulder as a result of increased government dependance of citizens submitting to the "nanny state" which provides for our every need if we so desire. We pity so many in my generation (I was born in the mid-1980s) and the generation after mine who reject their cross and favor a life of ease, rather than struggling to promote the common good.

    Finally, each person's own cross to bear through suffering has a different weight that THEY are meant to carry, and you will never know or understand, nor will they understand your crosses. Some have incredible loss and adversity to struggle through, while others struggle with little crosses like laziness, indifference, etc. The gravity of their cross does not diminish the fact that it is still a cross, and each one of us must carry OURS, not reject it.

    I hope this provides you with a new perspective on how some of us might be feeling when we say we are "suffering" after the election.

  21. I don't get it. I really don't. Why the wailing and gnashing of teeth? Are you all just so convinced that the rest of the country who voted for President Obama are godless and immoral people? Really?

    When you connect the re-election of this President with comments about the "further depths of moral and social decay", it is an insult to me and countless others who voted for President Obama out of our own personal values. I voted for President Obama because I believe in the idea of community, the idea that we are all in this together, and that we have a responsibility to help each other and care for the world God gave us. I voted for him because I feel that we ALL have the right to love (and marry) whomever we choose to love. I voted for him because I believe that access to healthcare, including contraception is basic right. If you think that I am morally bereft, then that is your right, but I would like to believe that you would not be incapable of recognizing that this is not necessarily a "good versus evil" situation.

    Please, enough with the hysterics. Enough of the declarations that you will be stocking up on guns and ammunition. I've had enough of seeing phrases like "death pall" and "mourning". It's not the end of the world. Barack Obama is not the anti-Christ and Liberals are not demons.

  22. Steph, thank you so much!

    Alan, first, if anyone on this blog ever told you that you didn't know what suffering was, I would absolutely call that person on it. No one can speak for another's suffering. It is intensely personal.

    I hope you read carefully what JP wrote, above, as it speaks for me exactly. When people cry, feel great heartache, mourning for the loss of something dearly loved and cherished, worry to the depths of one's soul for the future of one's children, and feel physical manifestations of that pain -- that is called suffering. Do you know that I have seen at least three grown men that I know (and heard of more) who have come to tears because of the sorrow of what we know this election portends? I assure you, the suffering is real. I likened it to feeling as if someone had died. I have only felt this feeling once before in my 45 years. So, please, don't tell me I don't know what "real" suffering is. That is what I found insulting, not that you disagree with my theology, ideas, religion, etc.

    Thanks for understanding.

  23. mcc-irish, you are a dissenter from your own faith, at your own peril. That is your right, as God gives us all free will. Free will is a great gift. But we don't need any lectures from you.

    If you prefer not to see our suffering as we face what we (millions upon millions of us) believe to be great evil (and yes, all of life is a spiritual battle raging, with souls being lost), then you are absolutely free to leave this blog and go read Huffington Post or National Catholic Reporter where you will feel more comfortable.

    This is a blog for Catholics, and it's a safe place for them. We will continue to speak freely and express ourselves exactly as we like. If you don't like what is said here, please leave. No one forced you to be here.

    But no more insults or scolding from you. Not on my blog.

  24. How did I insult you in my above comment, Leila?

    1. I was speaking to Alan about the "insult". What I took offense with from you was the condescension:

      Please, enough with the hysterics. Enough of the declarations that you will be stocking up on guns and ammunition. I've had enough of seeing phrases like "death pall" and "mourning".

      If you've "had enough", then you are welcome to leave.

    2. You are correct, I shouldn't have used the word "insults" with you, and I apologize, as I see now that I used it. I should have stuck with "scolding" and "condescension".

    3. You are entirely right, it is your blog, and you can control the content of it. That said, you should also take your own advice about condescension, as you so freely and blithely declare who is and isn't a true Catholic. Last time I checked, you weren't the judge of that. Not all Catholics are lock-step with the Vatican, Leila, but I can tell you that I love my Church and I happily live my Catholic faith the way my conscience sees fit and nothing you can say or do will change that.

      It's sad when you extend such "concern" to people who ridicule your Church and your belief in God, but you respond with such venom to a person who, in all probability, agrees with much of your own personal beliefs.

  25. What is Catholicism, mcc-irish? What is the Catholic Church? What does the Catholic Church believe? Is there an option for you to take some of the moral law and leave the rest? What about some doctrine and leave the rest?

    You are a smart person. You know very well that Catholicism is received. We receive it or we reject it. But in no way do we take parts and leave others. That is not what we profess when we profess our faith. I know you understand that, but if you don't, then you are just the kind of person that I want to reach. I wasn't well catechized, either. It took me many years to learn the faith, because we were not taught well these past forty years. Most Catholics operate on a Protestant paradigm. Be we are not Protestants, and we are not free to pick and choose which parts of the Deposit of Faith we like.

  26. Everyone who is a baptized Catholic is a "true Catholic." I would never dispute that you are a Catholic. If you are a baptized Catholic, then you are a Catholic, just like me.

    What I do speak of is "dissent" or "faithfulness". Are you a faithful Catholic? Do you submit to and obey the teachings of Christ's Church? When you find yourself disagreeing with the Church on faith or morals, do you assume that you are wrong and the Church is right? Do you consider the Church's teaching just one opinion among many Christian opinions, or do you consider it the teaching of Christ?

    If I am wrong, and if you are not in fact a dissenting Catholic, I humbly apologize. But it appears that you are fine with homosexual acts and contraception, for starters. If I am wrong, please correct me.

  27. I wrote something a while back for Johanne that might help explain:

  28. I think JP expressed the concerns that I have very well. I remember Alan, in the past, acknowledging how oversexed our culture is, and I think, Alan, you may understand how very concerned we are for the world our children are growing up in. It is not as if things are getting better. Rather, they continue to slide further and further down paths that I would not even have imagined a few months ago. Did you see the MTV video that advises girls to be proud to be a slut? Isn't that sad? Does it concern you that the people who promote that point of view (MTV made it, Planned Parenthood was promoting it on their FB page for young people) overwhelmingly support the Democratic party?

  29. I'm not sure I know what you mean about being a "dissenting Catholic". If you mean that I disagree with a FEW of the teachings of the Church, while wholly accepting a vast majority, then yes, I am a dissenting Catholic. I reject abortion, but I have no problem with contraception (both natural and artificial methods). I was shaken and angered to my core at the child abuse scandal of our Church, as well as the continued mishandling of this tragedy, but I have known too many holy men in the clergy for me to turn away from our faith. I am disturbed and frustrated with the way women are prevented from taking an equal role in the Church, but I cherish the reverence for Mother Mary that we Catholics have. And finally, I have no problem with homosexuality. In fact, my best friend, who is gay and a devout Catholic, will be the godfather of my daughter when she will be baptized in a few months. I chose him simply because he is one of the the kindest, most loving people that I know and I would be proud if he helped my husband and myself guide my daughter through her life, both spiritual and secular.

    Correct me if I am wrong, but everything that I have read on your blog pretty much says that your opinion is that I am not a real Catholic unless I accept every single teaching put forward by the Church. I disagree. I am not perfect, but neither is the Catholic Church. So all I can do is live my life (which includes my life as a member of the Catholic Church) in the best way that my conscience can discern. If I criticize my Church, it is because I love it. My faith is a chosen faith, something that I have prayed about and reflected on, not accepted blindly, simply because some men (holy that they may be) decided it in Rome. There were some Popes and priests who have been PROFOUNDLY mistaken all throughout history and I don't think I need to enumerate them again.

    E.J. Dionne said it best: "Those of us who are liberal Catholics have remained in the church for reasons beyond tribal loyalties or a desire to honor the traditions of our parents and grandparents. At the heart of the love many of us have for the church — despite our frustrations over its abysmal handling of the pedophilia scandal and its reluctance to grant women the rights they are due — is a profound respect for the fact on so many questions that count, Catholicism walks its talk and harnesses its faith to the good works the Gospel demands."

  30. Sharon
    Can you give the URL of that video?

    I haven't seen the video. I have to say that in general the oversexualization (such an unwieldy word) of our culture really does bother me. But the values of conservatives bother me far far more.

  31. Here it is, Johanne:

  32. Johanne, what would be the values of conservatives that bother you the most? Maybe I'd know already if I'd kept up with the comments on the Bubble because I think you've contributed your thoughts often lately but if you could just give a short list. I am trying really hard to understand the point of view of those who supported Obama and it is interesting to see. Some of the reasons I know I disagree with (that we are rich, greedy, uncaring toward the poor, old racist white guys who are waging a war on women by "preventing them from getting birth control"). Those reasons I just have to conclude are based on a refusal to see what we really believe in and the way we really live our lives. I imagine your list is different than that.

  33. Mcc-irish, I am in no way as eloquent of a speaker as Leila so I'm not going to debate the Church with you. I come to this blog because I'm Catholic and am trying to learn what I never learned growing up. But when you talk about "hysterics" and "gnashing of teeth", personally, it's hard not to be insulted.

    I think we have hit a nerve with you, and you don't like it. I'm not sure where you stand in your Faith, but from what you have said, you seem to be "cafeteria catholic." (You pick what you want to believe.) Fine. i don't think any of us are trying to judge you, but when you come into this blog, criticizing us for how we are feeling, it will never be received well. If you really "don't get it", it is because you are a dissenting Catholic; you are not in sync with the teachings of the Church.

    You talk about "hysterics" but I think you are the one coming off as angry and hysterical. Actually, I was really feeling inspired by all the comments--we were not at all 'gnashing our teeth" but trying to give ourselves and each other hope. I'm sorry, but what is wrong with that? Let's see, a few quotes from the saints on suffering and this is what hysterical is? Really?

    I'm sorry if you don't Leila's blog or any of us, for that matter. If the way we feel (which we have a right to express) bothers you so much, maybe you should find a blog that pertains more to what you believe.

  34. Again, my intent was not to insult. I cannot help that you took it that way. I am not the least bit insulted when you write gay "marriage", but now I guess I can be.

    I would like a point of clarification for insulting and condescending though. You wont allow mccirish or myself to do either, yet you have a few commenters who happen to be catholic who have been both to me and I am sure others (for one I can absolutely attest they have been both to at least one other) yet you don't chastise them, but rather praise and excuse them.

    So please let me know is it just those of us that disagree with you who have to follow this.

    And again, the intent from neither of us was not to insult or to be condescending.

  35. Johanne, no, not all civil marriages are sacramental, but Catholics assume that they are valid, natural marriage (unless folks have been married before, or if there is some other impediment). Sacramental marriage are those between two baptized Christians (of any denomination) who are free to marry. However, for Catholics, we cannot get married just anywhere. We have the higher obligation to get married in the Church. (I mean, we can get married "outside" a physical church building, but only with a dispensation from the bishop, and really that should be rare and for good reason.)

    I can go into that more if you'd like.

    I agree with Sharon, what are those (actual) tenets of conservatism that are scary to you?

    As for the gloom and doom. It's indescribable. The damage that will now be done to this nation with four more (unfettered) years of Obama pushing his values and his executive orders (truly unchecked power) and appointing his czars and his federal and Supreme Court judges, and forcing the closures of small businesses, energy plants, all the new layoffs, more "investment" in his continued growth of a centralized government (i.e., more spending!!!!) -- I am just breathless at the doom to my nation that I feel. I've watched the (expected) plunge of the stock market on Nov. 7 and the beginnings of the layoffs from companies who have been waiting with hope the Romney would get in, but now realizing that they can't afford both their employees AND Obamacare, not to mention a culture (and a major party) in which a woman's pelvis is the center of all discussion. Women are empty uteruses and vaginas. Or "sluts" (now a good thing). I have never seen us sink so low, and to think that children aren't affected?

    Does it bother you at all, Johanne, that Obama ran on small things (women's reproductive organs), low things (demonizing a good man), and never once ran on his record (well, save for "GM is alive and Osama is dead"). He did not run on his record, and his only plan is "invest" (i.e., spend!) and fund Planned Parenthood (his symbiotic partner in all things).

    To say there is gloom is right. It is a mourning. There is no other way to say it. Nowhere on earth is like America. Now, an entire political party and half the electorate (so many of them uninformed) are leading us to a European-style welfare state. Can't there be any place on earth, just one last nation, that is for life and liberty, instead of forced equality of outcome (where have we seen that before?) and the Culture of Death?

    Life and liberty is everything we hold dear, and life and liberty lost in this election.

  36. JP, of course I know the definition of the word suffering.
    In a recent post the word hyperbole was used towards me.
    Sorry likening the reelection of president Obama to a death in the family is exactly that.

    But now I know that gay marriage not being legal in all 50 states (as well as around the world) causes me great suffering. It is the same as watching my mother die, holding that aids baby shortly before it's death and watching people I love struggle to make ends meet each month. Thank you for legitimizing my feelings of suffering.

    I guess no one can offer any dissenting opinion on this though because these are my crosses to bear.

  37. Alan, again, if someone insults you by saying that you don't suffer, or your suffering is silly, I will call them out.

    If you find Nubby too snarky, then I encourage you not to hold a conversation with her. Truly, that is your right. If she ever insulted you personally or used profanities or tried to moderate the board in a way reserved for me, then I would say something. Otherwise, I generally let people say what they will. I would encourage her and you and me and all of us to be kind and try to give the other person the benefit of the doubt and "assume the good intention" as we do in our marriage and home. It's a good rule of thumb, although even I have trouble with it from time to time, esp. with things that came out of this latest campaign.

    Anyway, I have not banned either you or mcc-irish. You are both welcome here. I was only suggesting that if mcc-irish is truly wanting us to stop our lamenting, he didn't have to stay to listen. Because lament we will.

    I put gay "marriage" in quotes, because there is no such thing. Marriage cannot be homosexual in nature.

  38. Sharon you are absolutely correct in the statement that I do think the world is becoming over sexualized. Every tv show, magazines etc. We are a world obsessed.
    Lets take for example gay marriage (my favorite). For us gays it's about love, not sex. My marriage is like any other. We of course have relations but not every day, not with others. Our lives are mundane and normal (a word Leila used to describe what I called my day to day living) but all that is seen by those opposed to it is the sex. The love, the desire to build a life together, the want to connect, to grow and to become one entity are missed entirely because people are so focused on the sex act.

    A book about two princes kissing is sexualized, Snow White idolized. No difference except gender.

    I have been reading suspense novels by a christian author. One of the things I like a great deal about them is there is no sex. The violence is little and used only to further the story/suspense. There is no swearing.

    So yeah I wish we could back down on the sexual graphicness we face every day.

    However the advances in seeing gay people every day, having a president who is for gay marriage, I see that as advancement. Do I agree with everything Mr. Obama wants? No. I don't vote parties, I vote for the man.

    I still think it is a woman's choice what to do with her body. Using birth control does not make her a slut. President Obama's health care plan does not make women sluts.

    I don't watch MTV any more. It used to be great when it played videos. Now they have crap like Teen Mom ( a ridiculous show).

  39. Mcc-irish, did you read the link I supplied, about fringe Catholics?

    Bottom line: The male-only priesthood and the sinfulness of contraception and homosexuality (sodomy is one of the sins that traditionally calls out to heaven for vengeance -- so it's no small moral issue) are part of the doctrine of the Church and the moral law that was handed down, unbroken, from Jesus to the Apostles and their successors. None of it is up for debate.

    You live in radical (as in "root") conflict with your own church. There are plenty of churches that could fit your own opinions. Why not try those? Why stay in a Church that you are at odds with, fundamentally? You want to disagree with core teachings of the faith, but it's a faith that does not give you that option. Like I said you are living in a Protestant paradigm.

    And you also seem to be confusing the sins of churchmen with doctrine; people sin, but the Deposit of Faith is spotless. We can have, for example, a Pope who was a grave sinner, to the point of going to hell for eternity, but who never taught error as truth. That distinction is crucial.

    Surely you can imagine a Pope who was a thief, but who taught that stealing is evil. His actions were sinful (contradicting Church teaching), but his teaching was correct.

    For correct Christian teaching, look to the Magisterium (sinful though its members may be). For correct living, look to the saints. Hopefully, the two groups intersect more than not, but if not it is no matter. The Truth can be found with the teaching authority of the Church (Christ guaranteed it, the Holy Spirit protects it).

    If you believe otherwise, you are operating in a Protestant paradigm and you are not only confusing yourself but others.

  40. Leila, I have ceased talking to Nubby. My point is if you are to chastise myself and Mcc you should chastise Nubby as well. I don't expect that will happen, but your excusing her for her comment to Dennis was not excusable. She was at the very least insulting to him, even if you think it came off as funny.

    But it's your blog. I can't tell you how to run it, I can only ask that you be fair.

    And as stated I don't get insulted by your use of quotes on words you don't agree with. I might of at first, but having spent time here I do no longer. I maybe understand you a little.

    That being said, my marriage or "marriage" is real and true. I don't need you to approve for it to be so. :0)

  41. Alan, I honestly saw no harm or problem with Nubby's comment to Dennis.

    One thing I've learned as a blog owner and a mom: Not everyone is going to be satisfied with how you do things. At least for now, we still have freedom of speech, and my basic rule is to let folks speak.

  42. Alan, regarding two princes kissing in a children's book. Let's go with something we both think is wrong, so we can get on the same page: We both think that children having sexual or romantic relationships with adults is disordered and immoral, correct? So, if there were a children's book that showed a grown-up King kissing a little girl princess on the lips romantically, would you find that inappropriate for an elementary school audience?

  43. I will be in and out all day today. Please forgive me if I am absent for long stretches. Also, Alan, I am having that same problem that we had long ago, that I am not receiving any of your comments in my email inbox. Do you have any special blockers on your email? I don't know why it happens. No biggie, except when the comments get to copious and I end up missing many of yours since I get no notice in my email.


  44. Great post as usual, Leila. I am having a hard time. If Obama won fair and square, fine. Let it be and we will continue to live in a country where at least we can use our voice to vote. But someone please tell me he did, that voter fraud wasn't rampant and that this election wasn't rigged. The Black Panthers were at polling sites, the NAACP was at polling sites, the UN was at polling sites, there are articles and videos showing proof of voter fraud, my friend who moved to CA and wasn't registered to vote there found a "loop hole" and voted anyway...SOMEONE PLEASE SET MY MIND AT EASE THAT OUR VOTE STILL COUNTS because if it doesn't our great country is finished.

    For those of you who say you did not vote against morals, where do morals come from??? If our rights and our morals come from God, then they are inherent and no one can ever change them or take them away. If they come from man, then those in power will give and take away as they see fit. God has revealed the moral law throughout time, and we know right from wrong in our hearts. The DNC voted to take God out of their platform. They put it back in, of is likely they realized they had gotten a little ahead of themselves, but watch for this to happen in the future. Where does this leave us?

  45. Johanne, we are the most broke nation in the history of the world, and this alone should make even a secularist weep and then run from Obama, but it did not. So, what kind of hope is there?

    If you add up the total debt — state, local, the works — every man, woman, and child in this country owes 200 grand (which is rather more than the average Greek does). Every American family owes about three-quarters of a million bucks, or about the budget deficit of Liechtenstein, which has the highest GDP per capita in the world. Which means that HRH Prince Hans-Adam II can afford it rather more easily than Bud and Cindy at 27b Elm Street. In 2009, the Democrats became the first government in the history of the planet to establish annual trillion-dollar deficits as a permanent feature of life. Before the end of Obama’s second term, the federal debt alone will hit $20 trillion. That ought to have been the central fact of this election — that Americans are the brokest brokey-broke losers who ever lived, and it’s time to do something about it.

    I encourage reading the whole article, below. We have lost our collective minds, and we've given teenagers the keys to the car and the password to the bank account. Where are the grown-ups? On sexual issues, on fiscal issues, and on policy issues, the grown-ups have left the building.

  46. Manda, I agree about morals. So very true. As for voter fraud, I am sure it was rampant, but I don't think it was widespread enough to have swung this election. One funny thing… those foreign election observers from all over the world including Third World nations and corrupt nations? They COULD NOT BELIEVE that we did not require voter ID!! HA HA!!

    Sorry, that is funny! Even they realize how ludicrous it is to fight something as basic as the need to show an ID to vote.

    1. Alright. Then I can get over it.

      We have a voter id law here in GA. Nobody complains.

  47. Being a Catholic is all or nothing. Either you believe the Church has the authority to teach, or you don't. If the Church has taught error about contraception, how do you know She's right about the Eucharist? Or the Trinity?

    If the Church has taught error as doctrine in any respect, the Jesus was a liar. Plain and simple. If you think there's nothing wrong with contraception, you are saying the Church has taught error and Jesus was a liar (and this not God). Period.

  48. Leila,
    I strongly urge you to read fact checker sites on whether Obama's 2009 budget was his it included the bank bailout signed by Bush and Congress:

    I'm against abortion, have sent for years money each month ( an amount that hurts) to China Little Flower (online) to make abortions in Beijing (wife's birthplace) less likely. Just by the numbers, I felt Ryan's desire to cut $800 billion from Medicaid over ten years would cause more abortions than Obama's legal actions. Medicaid pays for an astounding 37% of US prenatal,delivery, and postpartum bills ( and 60% of the elderly in nursing homes). Cut medicaid and abortions will increase because abortion is way cheaper than a young girl paying a hospital if she works for a small business and has no insurance on her own ($7000 a year). Romney covered this over in the first debate by a ruse in saying he would raise medicaid by inflation plus 1%. The ruse is that medical and nursing home inflation is twice or more normal inflation....Obama nor Lehrer caught the sleight of hand.
    Ryan married in 1999 a woman from a richer family who later inherited millions. Neither he nor Romney will need help with paying the $65000 a year nursing home average should they fall ill in old age. They were cutting something they themselves would never need. Yet they wanted the military well funded. Ask Pope Benedict what he and his catechism think of the $4 trillion ( Brown University) and peoples' limbs that Bush's invasion of the mideast costs US taxpayers vis a vis the just war requirements.

  49. Bill, are you proposing the "vote for the most extreme pro-abortion president in history because he is really the most pro-life" argument? The mind twists into a pretzel trying to justify that. I guess that is similar to the "help the poor by eliminating them with contraceptives and abortions" argument.

    I strongly suggest you check the non-negotiables for Catholics in the public square. Not one of them is "support the welfare state". Not one. Those policy issues, how best to help the poor and at what level, are matters of prudential judgement. One can certainly vote to support the federal welfare state (which is bankrupting the nation; how will the truly needy be helped then?), but it's not a Catholic position to say that we must.

    I strongly urge you to go with first principles, Bill, and you can't go wrong. Here are the non-negotiables (I assume you are Catholic?):

    Non-negotiable means exactly that.

  50. Leila,
    Actually some degree of welfare statism is necessary because modern medical costs and nursing home costs are beyond the level of what charitable people give by free will. The Vatican has $1 billion in savings investments. It gave $200,000 to Haiti after the earthquake and US Catholic parishes gave on average $3600 each or over $60 million nation wide. But there are over 60 million Catholics in the US. We gave on average the cost of a Wendy's value meal and that does not augur well for charity replacing the welfare state. 350,000 Haitians are still living in tents. ..years later.
    Medicaid would not cover you or I in a skilled nursing home until we depleted
    all our assets if we were each the final spouse. Medicare would cover your first hundred days...then your assets you hoped to leave to grandchildren go....then Medicaid kicks in at about $65 K per year along with medicare covering heart monitors, oxygen etc.
    Off internet...not to me...answer yourself if your parish would pay such bills per year for ten elderly in your parish if the welfare state vanished...actually about $900,000 per year for ten with medical. Remember each parish gave about $3600 to Haiti. Now as the welfare state vanishes, you are going to ask those same people because their taxes are go from $3600 to $900,000. Like the Haitians, we'll all be living in the rain as elderly disabled if free will giving is the solution.

  51. Bill, is there a reason why the choice has to be either the government or private charity? What about insurance companies? Is there a reason that insurance reform (including getting rid of the monopolies that exist in some markets and regulations preventing interstate companies - I can't think of the correct word for that!) cannot improve this situation?

    Did Paul Ryan actually say he wanted to cut Medicaid by $800 million, or is that the number that someone came up with as an estimate based on some typical budget distributions? I think we always need to ask ourselves why so many women are on Medicaid, why the number is growing. It's not as if we can say, "Oh great! Lots of women are on Medicaid!" any more than we can say, "Oh great! We are now feeding 49 million families with food stamps!" Both situations are signs that something is wrong with our economy or with or society. I actually have asked the question about Medicaid and I know there are reasons that so many women are covered by it. It is easier for a pregnant woman to qualify than for a single woman, obviously because we know she's at risk for high costs if anything should go wrong with the pregnancy or delivery. Women may be more in need of coverage when pregnant, too, because some insurance companies impose a waiting period before covering pregnancy - not as a pre-existing condition, but even as a condition that may come up during the first year of insurance coverage. That should be done away with. Younger women are more likely to be in jobs that don't provide adequate health insurance if it is provided at all, and this can also be addressed if we stop tying health insurance to employment - although I realize that such women do not have lots of extra cash to buy insurance, either. We also have to address the reality that over 40% of children are being born to single mothers, most often young single mothers. This is not a failure of health insurance or health care, it is a societal failure that I think you'll agree is not in the best interests either of the children or of our country. Yes, the birth of every baby is a reason to celebrate,but we want our children to have the best shot possible. What can be done about that? Because if we address that successfully, we can decrease the number of pregnant women who need government assistance.

    1. Sorry, I meant to say 49 million Americans, not 49 million families on food stamps.

  52. Leila, while I fear this is a trap, yes I agree that there should be no books about adults and children in any romantical sense.

    I am very sad that you did not see the rudeness in Nubby's response to Dennis. Perhaps it is because you know her, but I can assure you to someone that does not know her it came off as rude and horribly inappropriate. Last word on that.

    I have no idea what is happening to my post. I have had few problems getting them here. I assume that will stop soon like it did last time.

  53. Manda
    There was questions of voter fraud on both sides of the election. Did you not hear about the voting machine in PA that kept changing someones vote from Obama to Romney? A machine owned by Romney's son's company.
    Does anyone else see those voting machines as a conflict of interest?

    I do think we should need to show id to vote. It seems insane not to.

    Now for voting against morals. Clearly I am on the different side of the election from you. Are you saying that I don't have morals?
    A quick reading of what you wrote would to imply that is what you are saying. I assure you I have a very high moral standard. Many of my friends actually laugh at me about it and I have had a therapist comment on my high moral standard.

    So why do you assume because we voted against Romney we don't have morals?

    To my eye your morals come from the catholic church as that is the church that you worship. I can't say they come from god because many people who believe in god believe differently than you.

    I can't answer where morals come from on the whole, but can tell you that mine come from my parents for the most part, but then some come from my ability to reason. My mom was catholic and very religious. My dad protestant and not the least bit religious. They both were very moral people (Dad still is, he is one of my role models)

    We also know that morals vary from person to person, state to state, country to country and religion to religion. Where I have a problem is you deciding that the catholic churches morals are the be all end all for all people. I think the world pretty much agrees on the biggies like murder is immoral (with the exception of wars, protecting oneself and capital punishment) , stealing and hurting children. Beyond that it falls apart. And yes society and government do need to step in to help determine morals to some degree with laws.

    And many have it right when they decide that their morals are right for them but not necessarily for all. I think it does become difficult to determine what is moral at times because different people clearly have different morals. That does not make people who don't agree with you immoral though.

    So this may be rambling and make no sense (I think most of what I write makes no sense to the catholics (although the few none catholics seem to get it) but the long in short is when you say that those who voted for Obama voted against morals you are completely wrong.

  54. Alan, while I'm on the same side of the political aisle as you, I do feel the need to point out that that thing about Romney's son owning voting machines is basically just conspiratorial nonsense.

  55. Sharon,
    Bloomberg gives the $800 billion over ten years cuts by Ryan. Factchecker dot org gives a slightly lower figure on their siite: " Ryan's projected 10-year Medicaid spending is $771 billion less that projected under current law, and $735 billion less than projected under the president’s budget. To accomplish that, Ryan goes much further than simply holding down the future growth of Medicaid spending. He would shrink it, and the claim that he wouldn't is an outright falsehood."

    Certainly the culture is non moral but unless you can convince the country to become Amish in the next two years, it's going to stay immoral in our lifetime.
    Cutting back on medicaid to the immoral will produce abortions. It would not in enclosed cultures with values like the Amish. I just delivered food I bought to a dangerous part of a big Jersey urban ghetto area after our hurricane. I gave four huge cans of yams to a crackhead who will sell them for fifty cents each to poor families MAYBE or he will simply share them with very poor families. Either way, black children in that 9mm area will eat tonight and they just got over ten days with no heat in that area post hurricane Sandy ( I had 8 days no heat). You work in an imperfect
    world. I voted for no one because both sides disgust me and NJ's electoral votes are always spoken for but we also had no important issues being voted on.
    Read section 25 for example of Truth in Charity by Pope'll see him
    affirm "social security systems" by name as he mentions the threat to them by outsourcing.

  56. oh, alan, let's just hug it out. ((( )))

    This is exactly a problem with the Left. Touchy. I can't say midget, but I bet I can say giant.
    You'd say, "Why no! You can't say that, either!" Give me consistency so that I can make a judgment.

    I'm a somewhat tall person. Should I feel attacked when McDonald's offers me a super sized meal? "Hey, that's an attack on me! We need to narrow the scope of our speech! Everyone - from here on out, you must be "average" and offend no one with your colloquial speech."

    It's a problem of the Left, big time.

    The apology to Dennis was genuine, he accepted knowing that I wasn't aiming at his child. I understand Dennis's feelings, he gave me info, etc. I appreciated that. I don't mock Dennis or his child. End of story for Dennis and for me.

    That you can't get over it, when Leila was fine with it (and it's her blog), or get a comic relief about truths in life, because you know what I just said above is true, well, what a poverty.

    Leila, thanks, and He Leadeth Me is a great book.

    1. Nubby, I did not respond to your comment regarding using the term "giant", as I felt it was antagonistic and rhetorical. Comparing being “somewhat tall” and asking if you should find offense at McDonalds for using the slogan “super-size” to my daughters marginalized disability, is at best, petty.

      You are free to use language as you see fit, but to continually insinuate that using the term midget in any context, is not insulting and is only "my feelings" being hurt, is incorrect and does not recognize the tens of thousands of people with dwarfism, who have been marginalized as a minority for far too long.

      There are a multitude of other terms you could have chosen to describe someone of limited intelligence. You chose to use a phrase that is not only archaic, but insults a group of people, who have tried, for centuries, to be treated as equal. I highly doubt you have felt marginalized or have not been offered a job because of your condition as a “somewhat tall” person, but my daughter has. I’m pretty sure no one has shouted slurs from cars as they drove by, or has taken a photo of you, while laughing, and uploaded it to a hate website because of your “somewhat tall” condition, but my daughter has. However, I don’t want to assume, so please, correct me if I’m wrong.

      Using the term mental midget, is hurtful and degrading to an entire group of individuals. I am merely educating and sharing this information. The decision to continually use the term, is completely up to you.

  57. Sharon,
    Correction...that's Charity in Truth, section 25.

  58. Bill, first, I hope you are not falling for the fallacy that conservatives want no safety net. That has never, ever been true. Second, if we don't bring back morality, especially when it comes to sexuality and marriage (since the abuse and distortion of both is the reason that children in America are in such dire straits), then we can just kiss society good-bye, seriously. At least the America we have known. Are you satisfied with that? I'm not. We know from the founders that our Constitution can only work assuming a moral people. Once that morality is shaken, we are in a world of hurt. And welfare will only go up and up and up.

    All the numbers are very interesting, and very scary, but root causes are not being addressed (whether underlying morality, or why health costs are so dang high… something that the left will not address, tort reform, insurance across state lines, etc.). Gosh, we could talk policy and crunch numbers for weeks on end, and still come up with a huge dilemma.

    Bottom line, I am a Catholic. My values in the public square reflect the non-negotiables of my faith. I am ultimately obedient to Christ before I am a policy wonk, or before I will give up on morality, throw up my hands, and bankrupt this nation in the name of "compassion".

    Why not address fraud and gaming the system? Why not require work for able bodied Americans on longterm welfare? (Oh wait, we did, until Obama did away with that requirement just before the elections.) Why don't we work on saving the billions in waste? Where is that even being addressed?

    Anyway, I am sure you have a good heart, but we have very different ideas about how to help the poor. And as Catholics, we are allowed to disagree. What we may not disagree on are the non-negotiables, and I did not hear you address those as foundational to any other issues.

  59. Leila, while I fear this is a trap, yes I agree that there should be no books about adults and children in any romantical sense.

    Alan, it's not a trap. I am just trying to show you that we agree on the child/adult thing, and that to Catholics, the male/male thing is the same type of issue. We believe homosexual attraction to be disordered, and homosexual actions to be immoral, and we don't want it normalized in children's books. I am trying to make you understand that it will never be acceptable to us, just as child/adult sexuality will never be acceptable to you (but it is to others).

    As for universal morality: The idea that homosexuality or abortion is wrong is not unique to Catholicism or Christianity. These are not merely "religious" issues, as non-religious people have historically adhered to these natural law moral codes as well.

  60. Children cannot give consent. Two adult men or women can give consent.

  61. Chris, are you saying that consent is the sole criterion of the good?

    And, many folks on the left (like Planned Parenthood International) work to lower the age of consent. Will child/adult relations be moral and ordered once the age of consent is lowered?

    And just to be clear, I was not arguing the difference between gay sex and child/adult sex. I was illustrating to Alan that some (perhaps billions) still see male/male sex as disordered and immoral, and thus we don't want that in our children's books, just like he would not want to see his understanding of disordered sex in children's books.

    To get to what is "disordered", we have to start with the question, What is the nature of a thing?

  62. I wept for my children while driving as I looked back at them.

    But Nubby has me dying laughing over the whole midget thing. Nubby I'm so surprised that your name isn't considered offensive...Nubby -- midget? I mean what is next that contraception is a basic right?

  63. I only said that because I thought you were equating the two.

    Changing the law doesn't change what is right or wrong.

  64. Leila- I have to admit, I agree with Alan- you tend to be a little selective on who you call out. I don't think you mean to be- I think you just see one as "tough love" and the other as rude.

    Nubby's exchange with Dennis is a beautiful example. Yes, she did apologize but after Dennis accepted she just couldn't help herself and made a joke basically belittling Dennis's attempt to call her out on it. After all.....Dennis should have known she wasn't talking about his kid----which implies he shouldn't have been offended to be begin with.

    Just as you wouldn't call a black man a n***** or Alan a word I'm not even going to attempt to type or me a don't call people midgets. Now, if you use any of those words as adjectives do you really think any of us find the term less offensive?

    Of course we wouldn't! That's why Dennis was so upset and it is why Alan and I were both offended by Nubby's behavior and her attempt to justify it. It is one thing to make a thoughtless comment...come of these words have become very commonplace. In that case you say "Opps, I'm sorry. I didn't mean to offend I won't do it again." Then you drop it.

    Personally, I found Nubby's behavior far more offensive than MCC-Irish...and dare I say, far less Christian.

  65. Bill,

    I read the section you are referring to. I admit to having a hard time following the Holy Father, not only because he's smarter than I am. It seems to me that he is saying that, in developing countries where jobs are being outsourced to (am I right so far?), there is a threat to social security systems. I'm lost because I didn't realize that poor countries had much in the way of social security systems. Or does he mean that our soc. security systems are threatened because we are losing jobs? He does not seem to be referring to social security in terms of social relationships but in terms of government support, and still, I'm a little lost on that. Is there any social security in Mexico, for example? I have thought that, while workers are underpaid in the beginning of industrial development (as they were here in the US in the late 18 and early 1900's), the fact that they are working is empowering and leads to higher expectations for the employed, helping them have the confidence to build effective unions. I am not arguing with Pope Benedict, obviously, but I am not following him. I guess I better read the whole thing.

    Regardless... Leila is right. You seem to be very quick to just say, "Oh well, I have to help out these immoral people." I actually did not myself refer to them as non-moral. I think that they are people who are making poor choices, living a lifestyle that has harder consequences for them and their children than they realize. Or maybe they are just not hopeful for their future already, and see their children as a sign of hope. I don't know. But we are living in a country where more and more people are making the choice to bring children into the world outside of the solid family situation that is best for the child. One could argue, you know,that what the government subsidizes, we get more of, and by that argument, our government is encouraging a situation that is not good for children or for society. I know, we can't reduce the poor by refusing to help them, but we cannot be defeatist, either, and say that we just can't expect any better from these men and women. We can.

  66. Leila, to take the discussion on a little different turn... have you been reading articles like this one:

    The argument is not focused on what the election says about the moral standards of our society. It is focused on the fact that fewer people voted for Romney than voted for McCain. Romney just did not inspire people to vote for him. Could it be that the election was a referendum on the kind of candidates the Republicans have been giving us? That if Romney had seemed to be a more sincere conservative, more people would have come out and voted for him? Maybe I am summing up the article incorrectly but those are the thoughts I am getting from it and from other sources. While in effect it really doesn't matter WHY Obama won as much as that he did win (and that alone can be expected to have devastating consequences on religious freedom, abortion, the influence of PP on our children and the burdening of future generations with our debt), could it be that in reality more than half of the country actually wanted a conservative candidate but that Romney wasn't believable enough as a conservative for people to come out and vote for him? Sorry, it's late and I'm rambling but I hope I'm at least making a little sense!

  67. Changing the law doesn't change what is right or wrong.

    Chris, I totally agree.

    Unfortunately, many atheists believe that society (and laws, which reflect society's values) determines right and wrong.

  68. Sharon, it's an interesting point to ponder, and yes you are making sense!

    StarFireKK, I'm going to be very honest and tell you that I have very, very little patience for political correctness, which leads to speech codes (loss of freedom of expression), which leads to "hate speech" crimes (loss of freedom, including jail).

    I have a daughter who is so short she is half an inch from the definition of a "little person" … and the word midget has never seemed in my life (gosh I am old) to be offensive. Now that it is, well, I guess I will try to quell it, but it's really not something along the lines of the N word. Just like "handicapped" is now bad ("physically disabled"/"differently abled" might be acceptable? I can't keep up, honestly). As soon as a good word or phrase gets used as a joke one too many times, it suddenly becomes a bad word and we move on to the next. It's VERY hard to know from five years to the next which words no longer can be used and what offends this or that group.

    Honestly, sometimes it comes as a shock to know that a word one thinks is fine has suddenly become unacceptable.

    I absolutely hate that we have all become this sensitive, truly. Even to the point where I called someone a broad, and was called out on it! I was speechless. I wouldn't care in the least if someone referred to me as a broad, so it was baffling (or a "girl" or "gal" either). I just honestly have a problem with political correctness run amok, so the whole "midget" thing did not even reach my radar. Sorry about that.

    I thought her apology was quite gracious, esp. since I hadn't even realized (nor did she) that her offense was even an offense.

    Hope that makes sense.

  69. It is not political correctness- it is manners. You don't call people names. And when certain names become widely used in a derogatory way you do not use them as adjectives.

    Dennis explained the word midget didn't "become" offensive- it started out as an insult. So your issues with people becoming "too sensitive" do not really apply here.

    But we are focusing on the wrong thing, it wasn't the use of the term that was offensive- it was the behavior after Dennis called her out for it.

    After she apologize she just kept making jokes about "well can I say the word giant? can I do this?" All that does is highlight the fact she thought Dennis' comments were out of line. He's trying to do a good thing- he's trying to expand awareness and trying to help people understand these words are hurtful and she makes fun of him.

    Now come on.....we are all smart people here. Why does her making fun of him matter? Well, it acts as a social demonstrates to the community that if you try to speak up or correct behavior you will be ridiculed. It acts as a chilling agent on others who might have agreed the behavior is out of line because they don't want to put themselves in the cross hairs and it may make Dennis think twice about speaking up in the future.

    A little advice from my mother- When you find yourself commenting on how sensitive other people are being, it is probably time to change your behavior.

  70. StarFireKK, I really am sure your mom is a nice lady, and she did a good job raising you, but I've been raised for many years now, thanks, and I am raising children of my own. When I want advice, though, I will definitely ask. :)

    Look, everyone likes to put their opinions here on my blog. I am happy to have them do so. But at the end of the day, it's my blog. I started it. I run it. It's mine. Everyone is more than welcome to start their own blog if they would like, and if they find my blog and the comments horribly offensive. I am sure one day my blog will be illegal, then no one will have to worry about any PC/"manners" issues.

    People who push political correctness to the point that everything is offensive (even things that were never intended to offend) make me glaze over. You may call that ill-mannered -- so be it. Nubby apologized. And frankly, her comment about giants was not out of line. Truly, if I "stand on the shoulder of giants", does that offend those with giantism? I'm not kidding. Or if I have a giant headache?

    Honestly, I am terribly sorry that Dennis was offended. Nubby apologized. She obviously, obviously had no idea that such a word was offensive, and she was so incredulous that she asked the next obvious question, about giant. It was tongue-in-cheek, but also got to the heart of it. Who can even know what is offensive anymore, when suddenly everything is (sorry, many of us don't get the PC memos).

    Three of my kids are redheads ("gingers" -- some find this very offensive by the way, some do not; I do not). Two of them are red-headed boys. I am an Arab. My husband is a Jew. We know all about names and sensitivities and stereotypes, etc. Some are intended nastily, some are not. Not a big deal in our lives. Truly, it's just not that big of a deal. I teach my kids not to be sensitive to every perceived slight. We are not victims; the culture of victimhood is a terrible way to raise children.

    Now, I hope you can let it go. No offense was meant by Nubby. Everyone understands that. She apologized graciously. It's really over.

    1. You know, Leila, when I'm at a loss for words, because I had no idea something I had said hurt an entire group of people, the first thing that has never come to mind, is, make a tongue-in-cheek joke to minimize the persons feelings whom I upset.

      Her "gracious" apology, became in my mind, moot, when she minimized the feelings of the dwarfism community by making an outlandish comparison, mocking the importance and validty of my attempt to educate her. But I have no desire to argue intent here, Leila. I was just trying to educate.

  71. Leila,
    Abortion is a non negotiable and it's infallibly condemned in section 62 of Evangelium Vitae in the extraordinary magisterium in such a way as to pass muster under canon 749-3: " No doctrine is understood as defined infallibly unless this is manifestly evident."
    But the election was not between Obama and a pristine candidate. It was between Obama who has a disasterous abortion conscience...and Romney who has an abortion conscience that permits exceptions In rape, incest and health of the mother with a vice president whose medicaid cutting hopes would possibly cause more abortions in the long run than Obama. Bad laws are not the only way to cause abortions. Money is probably present in every abortion temptation on earth.
    The morality of the US will not be changed by electing the bad over the worse. The US permits both divorce and toxic TV shows like "2 and1/12 men" which latter through humor about fornication is probably a big factor in Catholic
    college casual sex rates. Only enclosed groups like Amish and Hutterites as a group seemed to have resisted both US divorce and US bad a group.

  72. Bill, I know the Medicaid argument has been very effective for the Catholics for Obama (I'm sorry, but the very name of that group makes me cringe.) Paul Ryan never said he wanted to cut $800 million from Medicaid, you really have to acknowledge that, and any analysis that says it would HAVE to be done that way really isn't valid unless there is some law that says that budget money HAS to be applied in certain ways. If you're going to cut a budget, you have to cut it from somewhere, and while every area would have to face cuts, there is nothing saying that it HAS to be done a certain way. So saying he wanted to do something specific dollar-wise with Medicaid is not accurate, and I hope you will admit that. Medicaid is a surprisingly small part of the budget, so legislators who really wanted to protect it could surely find massive amounts of politically-motivated waste to eliminate instead. But the $800 million Medicaid cut meme played well for that Catholic group, who wanted the infanticide President to win again under the ludicrous guise that his policies may accidentally help the unborn. How do you, as a Catholic, feel about paying for others' abortions? Not as some tiny percentage of your taxes that might contribute to Medicaid-funded abortions as happens in some states. I'm talking about the minimum $1 surcharge that by law will have to be paid into a pool by many Americans, a dollar that has the words "for your abortion" written on it? I have to conclude that it doesn't bother you terribly, or you would have wanted to do something about it. I was never under the illusion that a vote for Romney would overturn Roe v Wade. I don't know what will ultimately lead to the demise of that awful Supreme Court decision. The Supremes themselves have been a consistent disappointment in that regard. But I do believe that Romney would have done what was possible to eliminate things like that $1 "buy an abortion" surcharge. You did not vote for Obama, but your arguments are in favor of electing the man whose policies and party brought that specific abortion-covering fund into existence, and you argue against the only possible hope we had of removing that grave evil.

    1. To be more specific, that is a minimum $1 PER MONTH that many people are going to be forced to pay into an abortion fund. It makes a mockery of the Hyde Amendment, if that bothers you, either.

  73. And now, for a completely out of place comment, Leila, is there any way you could move the Amazon link higher on your page - say, next to your photo? It would make it easier for your readers to see, and would save my highly distractible mind from heading to the Bubble to find the link, only to be sidetracked by everything else on the page. I'm putting my request here because I hope any readers who don't know, will become aware that if you click Leila's Amazon link before putting items in your cart, a portion of your purchase will go toward helping families adopt children from foreign countries - children who will otherwise spend their lives in institutions. I'm trying really hard to remember that as the Advent season (otherwise known as the Christmas shopping season...) begins, and I did remember before putting "The Little Way of Advent" into my cart!

  74. Sharon,
    You are way into guessing. Go to page 42 of Ryan's March 2012 budget written by him and he tells you he wants to constrain medicaid growth by $810 billion dollars over ten years in the last paragraph. You cannot use your imagination in things that are verifiable.
    The later slightly lower figures given by Bloomberg and Fact Checker came from his making recent slight corrections. Secondly I have no idea what Catholics for Obama is like. I was never tempted to vote for Obama in either election. Again, don't use your imagination to link thread commenters with
    groups you hate. St. John of the Cross said that when we fret about others, it can allow the devil to add or subtract from our imagination about them. Remember his admonition.
    Here's Ryan himself in his budget saying he wants $810 billion in cuts... go to page 42 bottom:

  75. Bill, before I go on, are you arguing that a Catholic is not permitted to vote for anyone but a perfect candidate? Or that the Church views Romney's and Obama's positions on abortion as morally equivalent?

    Sharon, thank you, I will move that button later today!!

  76. Chris,
    Thanks for the snopes heads up. It is good to know.
    It does not however change the fact that there are always accusations of voter tampering on both sides.

    As for adult/child relationships being compared to homosexual relationships I understand they are not the same. Leila thinks they are (as does she claim catholics do).
    It's ok because possible billions of people think believing in god is disordered. Some of them are on the left, some on the right.

    Many people see no difference between orthodox catholics (I am not sure I am using the right terminology here, but I know many catholics who think differently than Leila on the whole gay issue so there is differently a difference in catholics) and The Westboro baptist church, or catholics and muslims.

    Leila (and her friends) may or may not argue the differences between them, but to me it is the exact same thing.

  77. Leila,
    No I think Catholics could vote for Romney as a lesser evil but I think most of them were unfamiliar with what Medicaid pays for...37% of births...and 60% of elders in nursing homes. In Catholic hospital neo natal units, 37% of income comes from Medicaid and in Catholic nursing homes, 60% of their income comes from Medicaid.

    I could still see them voting Romney in good conscience had they known that.

  78. Starfire, a big thank you. We are on differnt sides of the fence on the issues it appears so I really appreciate your words.
    My mom taught me to ignore people in certain situations, so that is what I will do. I am here by choice as we all are, so I will just have to ignore some things and move on.
    Remember the world is not fair and double standards are everywhere.
    But again thank you for the understanding.

  79. Bill, that makes me feel better. I thought you might be equating the two. Here is something I excerpted from Priests for Life, which explains that the Obama/Romney situation would not be a case of choosing the lesser of two evils (since one may never choose evil), but rather choosing to limit evil, which is a good. It's necessary for Catholics to understand, especially as the nation becomes more secular, so I hope you will check it out:

  80. Alan, there are six billion+ people on the earth and the vast majority are believers in God or gods.

    No, I never equated homosexuality and child/adult attractions. Both are disordered attractions -- and by the way, neither attraction constitutes a sin. To act on those inclinations is the sin, or to indulge in fantasies in the mind about them. Willful actions and thoughts are sins, but mere inclinations or unwanted thoughts are not sins.

    As for the acts (the sins) themselves, it is much more grave to violate an innocent child sexually than to sin with another adult. So, although both are mortal sins, adult/child sex is a greater violation.

    (Similarly, contraception and abortion are both mortal sins, but abortion is a greater violation.)

    Off to mass, God bless!

  81. Leila,
    I understand that you and many people think homosexuality is caused by a disordered mind. And you don't want your children reading about it unless it is to say it is wrong.

    You should understand that I and many people (perhaps billions) disagree with you. And heck some are even religious. Some are conservative. And you of course understand that we dont want you teaching that it is wrong.

    The you write "To get to what is "disordered", we have to start with the question, What is the nature of a thing?"

    That's a major question. Your natural law is anything but natural. Nature to millions means just that......nature.

    Keep in mind some think it is disordered to follow a "man in the sky" who tells you what to do and how to live your life. Which is not really a fair comment because in actuallity you are not following a man in the sky but a 2000+ religious institution.

    Oh yeah I am totally glad I no longer have to worry about polotical correctness here.

  82. Yes Leila, a vast majority believe in god/gods. That does not equate to a vast majority believing that homosexuality is a sin.

    Enjoy mass

  83. Thank you for correcting me, Bill. If Ryan gave that amount then he gave that amount. He did not say he would reduce the coverage of pregnancy by $810 billion. Budget cuts have to be made. There are many ways to reduce the budget. We can't keep pretending that there is a magic money pit where we can just get all we want from it and give it to Medicaid or any other area of the budget. We are already in the red. Every new dollar that politicians promise is a dollar that has to come from somewhere other than real money. It's just not there.

    You believe, apparently, that cutting Medicaid funding will make women more likely to choose abortion. Do you believe that free abortions across the board will make them LESS likely to chose it?

    Please refrain from throwing the word "hate" around, Bill. It is unjustified. I cringe at how easy it is for people to assign the word Catholic to their group, even as the group advocates for the most pro-abortion President our country has ever had, while the actual Catholic Church itself urges voters to avoid voting for a person with Obama's track record. I did not say I hated anyone, Bill. I could just as easily accuse you of hating as you could accuse me, because we have equal evidence of it for each other, which is exactly none.

  84. Leila- Understood.

    Alan- I don't believe your marriage violates my religious freedoms.

    Look, obviously I find it important to be married in the Catholic Church and to have God play a role in my marriage. If I didn't, I would never have gone through all the trouble (and the insults) to get married in the Church. So obviously, I think it adds value. I agree you can't measure or compare the two. I'm just saying from my experience in life: I feel those couples who have God as part of their marriage appear to have stronger marriages. I do think you can have a strong civil marriage. I just think it is harder.

    As for voting for gay marriage? I've never voted against it. I just don't see how limiting civil marriage will help bring souls back to the Church. But, I'm a long time advocate of the grassroots movement- you cannot change the laws until you change the culture-----especially in a country like the US.

    Look, being gay is one of your Crosses. You will go through things in your life that most of us will never have to deal with. I have no desire to make your life harder by making you feel like a second-class citizen. I don't think that is good for you, I don't think it is good for us and I'm pretty sure it isn't what Christ would want either.

    You know what the Church teaches about homosexuality. You know there are plenty of gays within the Catholic community. Catholics call those who have homosexual desires to a very hard life...I get that, you get that, everyone gets that. But it is a life you have to choose- you have to see the reason why to live that way and the reward it offers. It is a choice that is made completely independently of whether or not gay marriage is legal.

    So long as you compare the Westboro Church to the Catholic Church. We aren't doing our jobs. Catholics preach love. We believe God IS love. The Westboro Church teaches nothing but pure hate. But if you see the two as the same (or if anyone does) we have an image problem we need to work on.

    But that is a completely different discussion for a different day.

    I've enjoyed our conversation. But fair warning, I'm not sure when I will be back.

  85. Alan, it is "natural" (in the sense of "it feels right, it feels natural") for a kleptomaniac to steal. Does that make stealing right?

    It is "natural" for an alcoholic to be drunk. Does that make alcoholism ordered?

    I don't expect you to agree, but I hope you can see the principle at play.

    Natural Law is about the objective nature of a thing, not how any one particular person "feels" about an act.

  86. Sharon,
    Ryan via block grants wants to decrease federal control over the states in medicaid matters which means you are guessing again about his not wanting to cut pregnnt women...he is willing abdicating that power to states. It's a complex new issue to you but you are not obliged by God to comment on things you haven't read about...if you do, you'll guess. Fortunately we got you to move from 800 million to 800 billion, the real figure....and from Ryan never wanted to cut he did.
    If a state or 39 states want to cut pregnant women rather than elderly, Ryan is legally ok with that by the nature of what he is proposing on block grants....states' power rather than federal power with decreased
    Never feel obliged to comment on everything that comes up especially when it is new and complex to you.

  87. Alan,
    Leila is correct about gay acts. Romans chapter one is crystal clear that it is against nature for both genders. Unforetunately you live in a century when even Popes drift from scripture under modern hermeneutical influences that are negative. Pope Benedict subtly opines in section 42 of Verbum Domini that the Old Testament massacres were not really from God. Yes they were ( Wisdom 12:3-19) and Jesus predicts the worst one...that of Jeruslem in 70 AD when 1.1 million people were killed because Jerusalem did not know the hour of it's visitation ( Lk19:44) and because His generation had filled up (Matt.23:32) the measure of Israel's sins. Everyone is drifting from parts of scripture including me..."greet one another with a holy kiss"...I never did that in my life. So you're in a century that is one of the most cafeteria Catholic centuries when it comes to accepting all of scripture as from God. But try to rise above your milieu and follow Vatican II which said, " both Testaments in all their parts have God as their author". Sure there are scientific and chronological mistakes which are surfacey....don't use that to discount the moral level.

  88. I don't think I'll refrain from commenting, Bill, especially since I have you here to educate me. How fortunate for me.

    So what you're saying is, Ryan wanted to move the decision to the states. In other words, you don't know, then, what they states might do, where the cuts might be made on a state-by-state basis. Am I understanding that much?

    Could you comment on my question, Bill, about free abortion? Do you think that as it becomes mandatory, the Obama administration will have met Catholics for Obama's goal of reducing the number of abortions? Thanks, Bill.

  89. Leila, you want my opinion then no it is not natural to be a kleptomaniac.
    Alcoholism is genetic.
    Both can cause harm, the klepto to his victims, the alcoholic to themselves.

    Regardless of what you wish homosexuality does not cause harm.

    The Westboro baptist church and you worship the same god and the same books.

    I don't expect you to agree, but I hope you can see the principle at play.

  90. Starfire,
    Again thank you for your kindnesses.
    I appreciate having a civil conversation with you.
    I hope I am around should you return.

  91. Bill, condescension is especially disturbing when it is directed from a man to a woman. It's genuinely icky to read how you address Sharon.

    Also, you are now putting your understanding of Scripture above Pope Benedict? Might you be missing some nuance and not the Pope? I am truly stunned at the suggestion that the Pope has "strayed" but you are here to straighten him out. I have contacted a Scripture teacher about the issue and will get back to you on it. As far as "greeting one another with a holy kiss"…. you know the difference between doctrines and disciplines, correct? Because certain rubrics and customs have changed throughout the centuries does not mean the Deposit of Faith has changed. Disciplines are changeable. Doctrine and the moral law are not.

    Read here for more clarity:

    It's interesting that you are discussing the specifics of policies here, but have not addressed the principles which underly all policy. For example, subsidiarity. We start with the principle of subsidiarity, and we go from there. And again, Ryan did nothing "wrong" as you try to imply, because Ryan does not have to support a massive government entitlement program in order to be a Catholic in good standing. So, I am not sure why you are arguing the point, unless I am missing something? If you like strong centralized entitlement programs administered from Washington, and if you think those have been beautifully effective in bringing down poverty in America, and in reducing the numbers of out of wedlock pregnancies, and in restoring human dignity to folks, then you are certainly free to think so. But other Catholics are free to think that the policies you love have actually done an incredible amount of harm not only to the country and the common good, but to the folks those programs purport to help.

    If you are a Catholic, let's talk about Catholic principles and how to apply them, even before we pick apart numbers in one favorite policy or another.

  92. Bill,
    Leila is correct only if I follow her god or her religion.
    That does not make Leila correct.
    See the distinction?

  93. Alan, we don't worship a book as Catholics. We venerate the Bible, but we do not worship it. If we Catholics are "the same" as the Westboro nuts (who worship the same God), then we Catholics are also "the same" as the United Church of Christ folks, who are happily pro-abortion and pro-gay "marriage".

    But do you really think that's true? Can we all be the same?

    A klepto might think he is doing what comes naturally. An alcoholic the same (genetic or not; isn't homosexuality genetic?).

    You say there is no harm to homosexuality, and yet everyone who wants to hang on to their sin says there is no harm. Everyone. But we are not the determiners of sin.

    If you say we (individually or as a society) are actually are the ones who get to determine sin, then what happens when an individual or society says it's okay to rape women, or okay to kill Jews? How can we say that is wrong? Who are we to judge?

    Where does the moral law come from? Our feelings? Our desires?

    Where does it come from?

  94. "Leila is correct only if I follow her god or her religion.
    That does not make Leila correct.
    See the distinction?"

    Alan, you misunderstand what objective truth is. What makes you correct? What makes me correct? No our feelings on it, and not our opinion on it. We are correct if our belief conforms to objective truth. But we don't not determine objective truth. We seek it and then we conform our lives to it. We are not its arbiter.

    If I "believe" the earth is flat, it doesn't make it true, and if you believe the earth is round, then you are right, even if I don't believe you.

    If we both believe the earth is flat, we are both wrong. If the whole world believes the earth is flat, then the whole world is wrong.

    In the same way, there either is a God or there is not. Both cannot be true (one truth for you, one for me). There is one truth on that, so one of us is wrong.

    But it has nothing to do with our feelings.

  95. Bill, here is the response I got from Gayle Somers, published Bible scholar (former evangelical, convert to Catholicism).


    Here is section 42 of VB:

    42. In discussing the relationship between the Old and the New Testaments, the Synod also considered those passages in the Bible which, due to the violence and immorality they occasionally contain, prove obscure and difficult. Here it must be remembered first and foremost that biblical revelation is deeply rooted in history. God’s plan is manifested progressively and it is accomplished slowly, in successive stages and despite human resistance. God chose a people and patiently worked to guide and educate them. Revelation is suited to the cultural and moral level of distant times and thus describes facts and customs, such as cheating and trickery, and acts of violence and massacre, without explicitly denouncing the immorality of such things. This can be explained by the historical context, yet it can cause the modern reader to be taken aback, especially if he or she fails to take account of the many “dark” deeds carried out down the centuries, and also in our own day. In the Old Testament, the preaching of the prophets vigorously challenged every kind of injustice and violence, whether collective or individual, and thus became God’s way of training his people in preparation for the Gospel. So it would be a mistake to neglect those passages of Scripture that strike us as problematic. Rather, we should be aware that the correct interpretation of these passages requires a degree of expertise, acquired through a training that interprets the texts in their historical-literary context and within the Christian perspective which has as its ultimate hermeneutical key “the Gospel and the new commandment of Jesus Christ brought about in the paschal mystery”.[140] I encourage scholars and pastors to help all the faithful to approach these passages through an interpretation which enables their meaning to emerge in the light of the mystery of Christ.

    Here, Pope Benedict is addressing the problem of modern men reading the OT and being disturbed that God allowed so many "dark deeds" as He accomplished His purposes in salvation history. He doesn't deny that there were massacres from God. He simply says that God worked within the history of His people to slowly reveal the fullness of truth for man, so He used people who cheated, lied, or resorted to trickery and violence without explicitly condoning those. Not sure what this fellow is on about. I'd have to understand more of what his beef is to make further comment.


    If you can elaborate on what your concern is (Benedict's "straying"), she can take it further.

  96. Oh Leila, I love how you quibble over words. It really is funny sometimes.
    And in my humble opinion you have nothing to do with worshiping or venerating (when one looks that word up one finds this as the origin "origin:
    1615–25; < Latin venerātus, past participle of venerārī to solicit the goodwill of (a god), WORSHIP, revere, verbal derivative of vener-, stem of venus, presumably in its original sense “desire”; see Venus)"
    the bible. You simply worship your church. Not the bible, not god, but your church.

    I don't.

    Is god real? I don't know, and actually neither do you. We know when we die. The rest is speculation.

    As far as moral law, I'm really not sure what you want as an answer. As I have stated before some of it is probably natural or instinctual (not killing, not raping, not robbing and not harming each other) and others have come from societal pressure.

    But I don't think morals (or moral law) comes from god. I mean really look around the world. There ones I have pointed out are pretty much universal, but there are a whole bunch of other morals in different areas, and many of them come from a god.

    Sorry homosexuality does no harm. You can think that is me being in denial, and I am ok with that.

  97. and as for my comparisons

    considering your catholic church as the same as The United Church of Christ would be like you considering homosexuality to heterosexuality.

    See the united church of christ is good like heterosexuality where your westboro baptist is a sin like alcoholism or kleptomania. I'm not sure why you don't see that.

  98. Alan, please understand, I am not under any belief that you will agree with me. I am just trying to make distinctions here.

    It seems you base everything on your opinions or feelings. Then you accuse me of doing the same. But actually what I am talking about is the very existence of an objective truth. There either is objective truth or there isn't. There either is a universal moral law or there isn't. There either is a God or there isn't. I'm not "wanting" an answer from you. I already know your position. I am simply making distinctions, trying to bring clarity, philosophically, to these ideas, these opposing worldviews.

    I mean, it would be nice if we can just agree on a principle or a statement being true. For example, can we at least agree that this is a true statement:

    Either God exists or He doesn't. God cannot both exist and not exist at the same time, correct?

    See, there we can have agreement. Not that he exists or not, but that both propositions cannot be true.

    Thanks for the Latin! I love Latin. Today, "worship" is understood mostly to mean actual adoration due God. Yes, in very limited cases it can be used to mean venerate, but then it gets confusing when we talk with Protestants about those words. I am going with their colloquial meanings.

    We worship God in His Church. God founded the Church and yes, I wish to live in complete obedience to a Church Christ founded (wouldn't you obey and worship a loving God, if you believed He exists?)

    Anyway, sorry, I cannot understand your last point about Catholicism, UCC and Westboro, because I still can't understand the first point you made (that we are the same as Westboro?). If you can clarify, I would appreciate it. Here is Catholic Church teaching on how to treat gay people:

    2358 The number of men and women who have deep-seated homosexual tendencies is not negligible. This inclination, which is objectively disordered, constitutes for most of them a trial. They must be accepted with respect, compassion, and sensitivity. Every sign of unjust discrimination in their regard should be avoided. These persons are called to fulfill God's will in their lives and, if they are Christians, to unite to the sacrifice of the Lord's Cross the difficulties they may encounter from their condition.

    2359 Homosexual persons are called to chastity. By the virtues of self-mastery that teach them inner freedom, at times by the support of disinterested friendship, by prayer and sacramental grace, they can and should gradually and resolutely approach Christian perfection.

    How does this equate to Westboro's hate? Thanks!

  99. Leila,
        Do you think I may have been kidding about the holy kiss being transcultural?

        Benedict is blaming the dooms on men's violence as Gayle notes in her own way when she says that Benedict sees that God "used" the violence of men.  But neither Benedict nor Gayle notice that such was the case only when non Jews were the violent as in Jerusalem in 70 AD when the Romans were the unconscious tool of God; or in Jeremiah when God used the Chaldeans to doom the Moabites.

         When the Jews are the violent actors in dooms or bans, they are ordered by God through Moses explicitly as you can see if you read Deuteronomy chapter 7.  Here's the Douay Rheims which follows the Vulgate which is the official translation of Catholicism in things Biblical:

    Deut.7:1 "When the Lord thy God shall have brought thee into the land, which thou art going in to possess, and shall have destroyed many nations before thee, the Hethite, and the Gergezite, and the Amorrhite, and the Chanaanite, and the Pherezite, and the Hevite, and the Jebusite, seven nations much more numerous than thou art, and stronger than thou: [2] And the Lord thy God shall have delivered them to thee, thou shalt utterly destroy them.."

         Benedict wants to apply the unconscious using of mens' violence by God to all cases because he does not want God actually commanding violence but as you can see in Deuteronomy, that does not fly.  God orders the Jews ( unlike the Chaldeans and the Romans in 70 AD) to "utterly destroy them".  I suspect Benedict got to his position by not knowing that God punished the Canaanites "bit by bit" for four hundred years first which no one ever mentions when they talk of the dooms but which is explained in the 12th chapter of Wisdom.  Without knowing that chapter, the dooms of the Canaanites seem abrupt and cruel.  Once you read Wisdom 12, the picture changes radically.  These people had 400 years to stop their sins.  No one ever mentions that including Benedict who also commensurately errs on the prophets for similar reasons...prophets who he says in your above quote "challenged every kind of..violence".  To be brief, Elijah the prophet slit the throats of 450 Baal prophets (I Kgs.18:40); Samuel the prophet "hewed Agag in pieces before the Lord in Gilgal" precisely because Saul did not do so as ordered by God; Eliseus the prophet was ordered by God to kill any of the house of Ahab who escaped the sword of Jehu.  The later prophets are against unjust violence not every kind of violence as Benedict says but even there the passages are not copious ( the psalms actually have the most anti violence passages) and Jeremiah has a blood curling verse about cursing the Chaldeans if they do not doom the Moabites thoroughly: 
       Jer.48:10. “Cursed are they who do the LORD’s work carelessly,
    cursed those who keep their sword from shedding blood.”
        This how both John Paul II and Benedict united against the death penalty unlike most Popes...see Ev sect. 40 wherein John Paul sees the OT death penalties as the offshoots of an as yet unrefined culture which is supplanted by the refinement of the sermon on the mount...but he goes on to never cite Romans 13:4 which for Aquinas affirmed the death penalty.  John Paul never mentions it in his passages on the death penalty and its the key NT passage.

  100. Sharon,
    I don't think Obama aims to reduce abortions aside from more generously funding Medicaid. Remember...I never voted for Obama even once and I do think him bad...not good.

  101. Bill, forgive me, but what is your point? Are you trying to assert that the Church has taught error, or that our Pope is in doctrinal error? If so, which doctrine?

    Sorry, I am trying, but I am truly not getting your underlying point.

    As for the death penalty, it is not an intrinsic evil. It is to be discouraged and hopefully even eliminated, but it is not an intrinsic evil and Catholics are free to disagree about it.

    Sorry, no, I don't get your joke about the holy kiss. I have a simple mind that needs real clarity; I'm very "linear" if you will. You have to make your points simply, and tell me specifically what principles or teachings you are working off of. Getting right to the point is the best thing on this blog.


  102. Leila
    I affirm the death penalty as did most clergy and Popes throughout history.
    Popes are capable of not only development but of regression also ( see LeoX, Exsurge Domine, art. 33 condemned) and these last two Popes with their war on the death penalty are simply trying to impress Euro culture that we are not the old Inquisition Church; and we shouldn't be but death penlties for murderers is not related to the Inquisition reputation. The result of their war on the death penalty ( John Paul and Benedict) is that inmates will be killed by lifers in non death penalty states which is exactly what happened to both Jeffrey Dahmer and
    Fr. Geoghan. Goodbye all. God be with you.

  103. Bill, condescension is especially disturbing when it is directed from a man to a woman. It's genuinely icky to read how you address Sharon.

    No problem, Leila! Bill and I didn't hit it off, on my part because I didn't appreciate being told I hate people with whom I disagree (for which I'm sure he's sorry even though he didn't say so!) and on his part because I am so annoyingly dumb! Perfectly understandable! :)

    I don't think Obama aims to reduce abortions aside from more generously funding Medicaid.

    Of course, I know he does not aim to reduce abortions at all, and he won't.

    I was hoping Johanne would get a chance to stop back and share what she doesn't like about conservatives. I think her list would have been interesting. Maybe she'll still make it back!

  104. @Sharon

    I decided not to continue that discussion because I don't think it would be helpful to anyone. We operate on such vastly different premises that I don't think discussion works very well in this format. Best to you.

  105. I'm sorry to hear that! I was looking forward to your thoughts, since you are not a hit-and-run type of commenter. Not that there are many of them at this blog, but it is not uncommon among acquaintances or friends-of-friends on FB. It is hard to read comments when things bounce around on a blog. Have you seen a format where such a discussion does work well? Do you think the differences in our viewpoints are too great to have a discussion in any format?

  106. DH and I have been feeling so angry and just dealing with feelings of hate. I feel bad saying that...but is it true. Thanks for reminding me not to waste my suffering.

  107. Alan, what I said was that morals come from God. The natural law, and a sense of right and wrong, is something human beings can recognize cross-culturally. The DNC voted to take God out of the Democratic platform. Therefore, democratic voters voted against morals, and voted against God. You say you don't know where morals come from. Do you believe in God? I'm sorry, I know we've talked before but I don't remember if you consider yourself an atheist. Also, I understand what you are saying. I just don't agree. The Ten Commandments are a pretty good outline of the moral law, and I think most of the major religions would agree with the standards set there and what they encompass. Loving and recognizing God, loving neighbor. This is not limited to the Catholic Church.

  108. Leila,

    Westboro baptist church also says they love the sinners (in this case the homosexual).

    You compare homosexuality to things you think are wrong, I compare your church to things I think are wrong. It's pretty straight forward.

    You don't compare homosexuality to heterosexuality because you think homosexuality is a sin and heterosexuality is a virtue. I think that churches that beleive in gay marriage are virtous, so why would I compare them to your catholic church.

    Of course I based things on my opinion, especially things that really have no proof. Like morals. Clearly society has defined our morals to a great degree.
    Now as to where morals all started I cannot say as I am not certain there is any difinitive proof (and I am definitely not getting into an arguement about the definition of proof with you) as history can only tell us so much.

    I don't think I have said you use your feelings to decide things though. I have said you use your opinion and I don't change my belief on that.

    And yes we can agree that there is or there is not a god. One could be true. But what if god only affected those who believe? What if only beleivers go to heaven or hell and the rest just die?

  109. Manda,
    I do believe in god. I don't believe in religion.

    I am neither democrat nor republican. I vote for the candidate not the party. I did not vote against god or morals. You can continue to say that, just know it is not the truth. Many people have no party affiliation. So to say they voted against morals is not a truthful statement but is in fact your opinion based on your feelings.

    As for the ten commandments I sort of agree while disagreeing. Confusing I know, but here goes.
    You are expecting non christians to agree with this, but fail to understand why they can't.

    Keep in mind that the first four commandmants pretty much have to do with only religious people(and of course many non christians), so why would a non christian agree that they are the basic morals?

    I did a little research but you could do years of research and still not have an answer) but Muslims while referencing the tablets and having I think all commandments throughout their book (I will spell it wrong if I try) but would more than likely not say that morals do come from the ten commandments.

    Then also we must view the meaning of the world adultery. What did it mean originally? I have looked on the internet and found some answers but I am curious as to what you think.

  110. Alan,

    I could not vote for anyone affiliated with a party that tried to remove God from their platform, but I vote based on principles. I understand that many do not, and that some do not have the same principles. I would say that in principle, if someone did vote for a party member who's party platform removed God or tried to, that at the very least this person does not take the knowledge of God seriously or does not believe God is relevant to everyday life.

    Religion is simply man's response to God's existence. Do you pray? This is an example of religion. Or, maybe you do not think God is interested in a personal encounter with you/ vice versa?

    I did not say that the moral law comes from the ten commandments, I said both came from God, and that if you look at the ten commandments they encompass the moral law pretty accurately. Man knows not to lie, cheat, steal, covet, murder, or envy. If he denies such knowledge, I would say he was being disingenuous. If someone cuts in line in front of you or cuts you off while driving, something inside you rises up and tells you it was unjust. God demands justice. Men crave it as well. The first four commandments are simply a response to the knowledge of God, and what it requires of man. Be faithful to this knowledge, honer Him, respect Him, love Him. The second half of the ten commandments are how we are to treat our neighbors because of God's existence. Love God, Love neighbor. Do you believe that God wants any sort of response from you?

    Adultery, as far as I know, means having sexual intercourse with a married person that is not your spouse. But Jesus expanded that definition in the New Testament when he said that any man who so much as looks at another man's wife with lust has already committed adultery with her in his heart and is in need of repentance. Jesus came to make us see that we are ALL guilty and that He is the only way to salvation.

  111. St. Rita, I know how upsetting this situation is for us. It is so difficult to see what we are doing to the world our children are inheriting. If you recognize that you "hate" the situation or "hate" those we might call the opposition, I think it is good to acknowledge it. I think we need to start right away though by praying for the people and/or situation who make us so frustrated that we "hate" them. That brings peace very quickly, and changes us as well as those we pray for. I think we need to remember, too, that if we aren't praying the Rosary, we are failing to use one of our most powerful weapons. And if we are not praying for sinners and for our priests, we are not doing those things that are most crucial to our children's futures. We should also remember always to unite our suffering, of every kind, to Christ's suffering on the cross. Then what was meant for evil becomes a powerful good, so powerful we can't even imagine it. Sorry to preach to the choir. I know you know all this but when things get hard it's good to be reminded! Where there is great evil, there grace abounds!

    Reminds me of this exchange in my favorite movie:

    Frodo: I wish the ring had never come to me. I wish none of this had happened.
    Gandalf: So do all who live to see such times. But that is not for them to decide. All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given to us. There are other forces at work in this world Frodo, besides the will of evil. Bilbo was meant to find the Ring. In which case, you were also meant to have it. And that is an encouraging thought.
    We were meant to be born in these times, and there are other forces at work in our time, too.

    1. Sharon, that was the daily Catholic quote over at Integrated Catholic life, the morning of election day.

      Coincidence? I think not! :)

  112. Also, Alan, heterosexuality is not a virtue. The virtues are as follows:

  113. Manda,
    Again how you vote is all you, how others vote all them. You have absolutely no idea what is in their mind or heart.
    We all vote on principles.

    You wrote "I would say that in principle, if someone did vote for a party member who's party platform removed God or tried to, that at the very least this person does not take the knowledge of God seriously or does not believe God is relevant to everyday life." You are welcome to say that, but it isn't necessarily true. How many people have you spoken to who voted differently than you? Have you voiced this opinion? If so what was their response?

    I do not pray. Occasionally I may talk to god (which I think you will insist is praying but again we would disagree)on occasion, but not generally.

    I wanted your take on adultery because someone once told me that adultery included homosexuality.

    I think we can definitely agree on six out of ten commandments. But you think they came from god, I don't. I think someone might have been clever enough when religions were starting to take hold and wrote them down. Before that they were maybe either just common sense or society had whittled them out from experience.

    I'm not sure I understand what you mean by does god want some response from me. Could you expand on that?

  114. Manda, thanks for the correction on virtues. I think the point was made on that though even with my improper terminology.

    1. :) is this sarcasm? Sorry, wasn't sure if you knew the virtues.

  115. I understand, Alan. And I have a lot of liberal friends. They are not the least bit religious. I don't know one Obama voter who considers themselves devout. I know many devoutly religious who chose NOT to vote, or to vote third party, or to vote Romney in order to vote AGAINST Obama, but I honestly can't say I know any religious friends who voted Obama. One of my closest Protestant friends, who attends a megachurch in Atlanta, was over on election night and we were discussing this. He also said that he did not know anyone religious voting Obama.

    I have a lot of family up north in PA, and they are Catholics from birth. They don't know their own faith, though, and when I discussed the upcoming election with a cousin of mine who is a democrat and she didn't know the basic tenets of our faith.

    Homosexuality is considered a form of fornication, in the Church, as the Catholic Church holds marriage to be a sacrament that must always be open to the possibility of procreation. Homosexuality, (in principle) can never fall into this category. Fornication is sex outside of marriage. That may be what that person you talked with about adultery meant to say. I am not trying to offend you, just stating the Church's belief which has been the same for 2000 years. This is why we oppose gay marriage. It has nothing to do with hate, we simply do not have the authority to change the definition of marriage that we believe God gave us and Jesus confirmed.

    As far as God wanting some kind of response from you, we believe that our very purpose in this life is to come to know God, to love God, and to serve God. We can do this through prayer, receiving the sacraments, studying scripture, and using our time, talent, and treasure to show love to our neighbors, who are made in God's image and likeness. This is our response to God. I was just wondering if you felt the call to respond to God in any way, or if you feel fully satisfied just knowing He exists. Do you believe in Heaven or an afterlife?

  116. Manda
    Thank you for your response. Know that I am not offended in the least by your beliefs about homosexuality, nor do I think they are intended as hateful. I do understand your belief, and although I believe it to be wrong I know where it comes from.
    I am gay and I think there is nothing wrong with that. I am not disordered, my mind is not disordered, my love is not disordered. I view it as the same as yours. I know you disagree.

    What I dislike is that you (and not you personally, but you as in the those who disagree with me) seem to think you should have some say in that part of my life. Like you don't want me violating your religous rights I don't want others violating what is my right (or priviledge or what ever word you chose to use) to marry whom I want because it doesn't fit with your idea of marriage or the world. We hurt no one. We affect no one. I hope you understand that.

    As for heaven or hell I really don't give it much thought. If heaven exists I have no doubt in my mind I will get there a lot quicker than some of the so called religious.

    1. Alan, I don't look at you as disordered, but while we are on the subject I look at myself as disordered, and by extension of that I believe the entire human race is disordered. If we were not, we would be perfect. Nobody is perfect, Alan. Sometimes when I am upset I will go downstairs and pull a carton of ice cream from the freezer and I will just start eating out of it by the spoonful, and then I'll open the pantry and start scouring the items for something to console me with before I realize I am not even hungry. This is disordered.

      I don't want to have a say in your life, Alan. (I do believe that I am supposed to love you, and the definition of love as I understand it is to desire your ultimate good---so for me to desire your ultimate good, that is, the good of your soul, I would have to secretly oppose your lifestyle choices and wish for you to change them. But I will love you regardless and allow your free will. You will do what you choose. My kids don't always do what I want, and they will face consequences, but I love them regardless and desire their ultimate good.)

      My opposition to gay marriage as law has to do with the fact that I do not want the state telling my Church that She must grant sacraments of marriage to those She views as not being permitted to marry in the first place. Do you see? Once gay marriage is the law of the land, it becomes hate speech to oppose it. I fear sanctions and taxes, and persecutions of my Church and Her members. That is all. If I knew that the civil unions would always be done without anyone deciding they wanted the Church to recognize it as legitimate and that they would never pursue their cause for the "greater good of homosexuals everywhere" and hurt my Church in the process I would not openly oppose it.

      I simply asked if you believed in Heaven or an afterlife because I was curious about your response to God. I would never pretend to know if you were going to Heaven or Hell. That is not for me to decide.

  117. Dennis, I wasn't mocking. Have I ever been verbally attacked, you bet. Have I ever had jokes thrown at me, who hasn't? I'm not minimizing anyone's experience.

    Had I said "small minded", would that have been okay? And the giant comment was applicable in my mind, because I'm trying to discern where or when the line is drawn; how and why. That's all.

    In any case, allow me this opportunity to once again offer humble apologies. I'm sorry for being an ass.

    Dennis, Starfire, alan, whomever else, apologies.

  118. Where we will spend eternity should be at the forefront of all our minds. This life is a blink of an eye and will soon be a memory. Eternity will never end. I want to live in the heart of the Trinity, where every one of us was made to live. God asks all of us for our "yes". He loves us infinitely (so deeply that His only Beloved Son willingly went to a torturous death on a Cross that we might be saved), and that love demands a response back -- a response of total self-giving love.

    1. That was in response to Alan's comment: "As for heaven or hell I really don't give it much thought."

  119. "Marriage is a pre-political institution springing from human nature itself."

    Marriage cannot just be redefined one day because two men want their romance to be sanctioned by the state. The state has no vested interest in men's romance, or lesbians, either. Marriage is the building block of society because of its procreative nature. It's because of children. Marriage binds men to their families, to their wives and to the children they create.

    Whatever you want to say about gay unions, their sexual "union" (and yes, sex is key to marriage) cannot ever produce a child. It is not supposed to. It is not meant to. No children come from the sexual "union" of man and man or woman and woman. It's biologically not possible. Homosexual unions are not the foundation of any society.

    Marriage is the foundation of society, because it begets families. Families are the primal, they are what societies are built on.

    We mess with the foundations of society to our own peril, and mostly to the peril of the children, who have the right to be born to their married mother and father.

    Say what you will about gay "unions", they are fundamentally different from a union of a man and a woman. Fundamentally. In their essence.

    You are free to do what you want in your romantic life, Alan. But when you want to redefine words and institutions to make them something they have never been and never could be, then that's a step too far. Marriage is not ours to redefine at will.

  120. Dennis, it's hard to express the extent to which some of us are truly bewildered by the changes in what words are or are not acceptable. It's very hard to constantly keep it straight.

    For example… I do a lot of advocacy for special needs orphans (including those with dwarfism -- I have been advocating for Oliver for almost a year now, and have been joined in my efforts by an LP family whom I love dearly). During my advocacy for all the orphans, I once used the words 'cognitively normal' when describing a child with CP. I was gently told, privately, that some folks are offended by the word "normal" and I should use "typical" instead. I was bewildered, but of course I complied. Now, I have no doubt that when a few years pass, the word "typical" will also be seen as offensive, and we will have to move to another word (not sure which words will be left?). Bottom line, it is bewildering. It seems like we are all walking on minefields trying not to offend, but never knowing when we will unknowingly do so.

    My solution would be to tell everyone not to be so sensitive and to give folks the benefit of the doubt. I understand that not everyone agrees with my solution, and that's fine.

    I think Nubby's response with "giant" was truly a sign of bewilderment more than a snarky remark. We truly don't know where to step sometimes.

    And some of the frustration at PC in general is that Americans are not longer offended by sin, but we have an incredibly heightened sense of offense at words that were never meant to harm and that were said with no malice.

    To give a big example, we can speak the truth of Christianity today, and where it once was entirely respected, it's now seen as "hate speech". But yet actual sin, even mortal sin, has been embraced and is being celebrated openly.

    Some days I feel like Alice down a rabbit hole, and maybe that is where Nubby was coming from, too. Again, I could be wrong, but I think bewilderment is the key here.

  121. Bill Bannon....I agree with your bringing up the cost of the Bush War as an example of something totally unjust...but, did you notice? Bush was not even mentioned during this election cycle (by the Republicans). Romney is not Bush.

  122. Leila,

    I promised myself I would stay out of this but here I go again. I guess I don't learn very well.

    What you have to understand is when you start talking about the language and the labels surrounding the disable it is a bit like walking into a funeral. Everyone is emotional, not everyone is going to be rational and unless you know the players very well there is lot of subtext you are going to miss.

    There is a culture and etiquette involved that you aren't going to know and you just have to learn by going through. Everyone understands 90% of the use of the words isn't intended to offend...but that's not really what they care about.

    When you start talking about labels- you start talking about self-identity, culture-identity, societal reactions to the disable and the role of the disable in society. It gets very complicated. You have to learn what the terms mean and you have to learn how and when to use them.

    When I was in high school I referred to myself as hearing impaired. I was quickly told by the lady who was talking to me "Oh sweetie, no one is impaired. No one is impaired. It is hard of hearing." Now did I really make a mistake when I referred to myself? No not really. But the two terms reflect different attitudes. Impaired- implies I need to be fixed, hard of hearing- means I have trouble hearing, but I am not broken. There is subtext involved. The two terms indicate a progression of an idea and attitude in our society. At the time, I thought the correction was very silly but now I understand why she did it. She wasn't saying I was insulting myself- she was voicing and advocating for a change.

    Why is "normal" becoming out of vogue? That's also a shift in attitudes and views about the disable.

    When I was in school the American with Disabilities act didn't really come into play until High School. It was passed many years before but no one really know what to do with it. So when I was young I grew up in the "old" system. I was rewarded for blending in.

    When I was in school it was preferable for me to behave as much like the other children as I could. That meant I had to struggle to hear my teacher, lip-reading, scanning the text as fast as I could and watching my classmates for any non-verbal clues they might dropped. So long as I preformed average or better this was the desirable way to teach me. (Did you know a number of medical studies show the brain of a person with hearing problems or who lip-reads works five times harder than a person with normal hearing during the same conversation? That's a lot of brain power to focus on something other than learning the material.)

    Now I could have used an FM system or another aid that would allowed the teacher's voice to go into my hearing aid. That would've allowed me to relax and focus on learning rather than keeping up. But it also would've highlight the fact I was different. At the time- that was not desirable so I wasn't given the option. I preformed "too well" to use the assistant living device.



  123. That's why there is a reaction against the word normal. Because it reflects the idea disable children to should strive to be normal and blend in as much as possible. It is a silly attitude because the disable children know they aren't normal. They know they are working harder and struggling. They also know that the struggle is not being acknowledged. That turns out two types of people.

    Those like me who say "Why don't you go walk off a cliff?"(we tend to develop MASSIVE authority issues) and others who never, ever, ever want to rock the boat. Neither attitude is especially healthy or well-adjusted. So to combat that they try to stop referring to kids as normal and abnormal. I know you don't think it does, but it really does help.

    So when you were told not to use normal and Nubby to not use midget- it wasn't meant as a character attack on either of you. It was meant to educate you on what those words mean and the viewpoints behind them.

    It isn't about a line and it isn't about being sensitive. Both you and Nubby walked into a much bigger conversation than you realized and the people involved were trying to give you some guidance. So it is a bit funny you are complaining you don't know where the line is or what is acceptable....because you both took it as a personal attack when you were told.

    Open conversations about disabilities are relatively new. For hundred of years, if we were lucky if we were locked up and forgotten about. If we were unlucky we were murdered. I think that is one of the reason we speak under the table. I think the other is dealing with a disability is a emotional minefield and sometimes it helps to be able to speak indirectly about the topic.

    I really wouldn't have said anything but if you are going to advocate for disable children you should be aware there is a larger conversation going on.

  124. StarFireKK, I appreciate it, I really do. And yes, I know there is a whole conversation about things going on in the disabled culture (I honestly thought we really aren't supposed to use the word "disabled", either?). My dear friends have a deaf son who uses hearing aids (cochlear implant, now, I believe), and they have had to pay many tens of thousands of dollars out of pocket for hearing correction for their son, because the dominant deaf community is so opposed to the label or understanding that deafness is a "defect" or "disorder" to be corrected that they have convinced the insurance/medical community that any hearing devices (even cures!) are "elective" because to cover treatment and restore hearing would somehow imply that there is something wrong with being deaf!I am sure you are familiar with the "war" on this subject. I cannot tell you how much consternation and struggle this has caused my friends (the mother can hardly talk about it), and all they wanted was to help their son hear (he is doing very well now, in middle school, and can hear). It's seems sooooooo political to me, sadly. I don't get it. I have had horrible eyesight since I was in fourth grade, and no one would say that bad eyesight was wonderful, or that it should not be corrected if it could be.

    Again, I fear I have opened a whole new can of worms, but I really have watched my friends suffer in so many ways because they, also, are not politically correct, and they just want to raise their son in the way they believe is best, without being penalized (financially, it's over the top) and vilified (the things that have been said to my friends because they wanted their son to hear are beyond the pale).

    Anyway, I guess I am trying to understand, but is it so terrible if I don't completely buy in? Is it okay if I refrain from using words like "normal" and switch to "typical", but think that it's sort of futile in the end, since that won't be acceptable soon, either?

    You may just have to forgive me on this one, for not fully understanding. But I promise, I do not use words that are deemed "offensive" if I know that they will hurt someone. Even if I think sometimes it's silly and too much PC, I am still (believe it or not) a nice person who wants people to feel comfortable around me. It may not seem that way on this blog sometimes (I have to be blunt dealing with a host of folks on a host of topics), but in real life, I do speak with a level of political correctness.

    Heck, as an English major it tears at every fiber of my being to write "he or she" instead of just the generic "he" (which everyone used to understand as meaning "he or she"!), but I do it so as not to come off as "sexist". Well, I don't always do it, but depending on my audience, I do.

    Again, thanks for explaining it, truly. It's your experience, it's your understanding, and I won't pretend to know what it's like.

  125. Oh Leila, I really wasn't trying to attack you. I was just trying to explain. Like I said, it is an emotional topic. I know you are a nice person if I didn't think you were a nice person I never would've said a word.

    I do understand your exasperation with the fact the "acceptable" word always changes. It is very frustrating and it can be exhausting to keep up with. I just wanted to explain there was a reason why it changes and a reason why it matters to some people.

    Yes, typical will go out of style someday too. The language changes with the progression of the idea.

    Just so you know, I have a cochlear implant too. In fact I got it in April this year after spending over a year arguing with our insurance company. I am so sorry your friend had such a hard time but I'm glad she prevailed. She has given her son the world, she really has. it is amazing technology. Last I heard, they are working to moving the technology to the eyes so they can help the blind.

    So yes, I know about the war. The Deaf Community is not my biggest fan. For the old guard (those who attacked your friends) I am everything they hate. Luckily they are the old guard and that attitude is dying. For the most part the DC are good folks. They are just a bit protective and take themselves a little too seriously.

    But I am so sorry if you feel like I attacked you because I really didn't mean it that way. It was just meant to be an explanation. I'm sorry if I hurt your feelings.

  126. No, no worries! It was a worthy conversation to have. I am glad we did. I am also thrilled that you got your implant and I would love to hear more about that if you have a chance! I can only imagine what that is like! I went to public high school with a girl (beautiful redhead, cheerleader, smart) who was profoundly deaf. She was a lip reader, and I know she struggled in may ways to fit in. I caught up with her on facebook two decades later and found out that she has had a cochlear implant, too! Amazing!

  127. Leila
    s/he is less cumbersome than "he or she."

    @Manda--does the concept of separation of church and state not mean anything to you? Do you see that it's not even appropriate for a political party to have "God" in their platform? I'm not saying we shouldn't want "godly" people in office but I don't think religion has any place in a party platform. And I know many many many religious people who voted for Obama!

    @Sharon--I guess I don't have the energy for a discussion now. Perhaps later. I find it almost impossible to discuss many issues here because our premises are very different. And on this blog it always comes down to "this is an objective truth because it came from God"--and even though I don't agree with that at all, there is no basis to continue a discussion. How can one disagree with someone who insists their view is objectively true and it came from God? Also, there is such deep, rampant,and entirely unfair misrepresentation of "liberals" on this blog and it really hurts my heart-- but I feel helpless to do anything about it. One of the reasons I stay on this blog (and others) is because I don't want to do that in return. I don't want to make gross generalization about people who disagree with me--I want to know what they actually believe and what they are actually like.

    And as a general point of interest: I volunteer in a large Catholic hospital. Today I asked the head chaplain how the HHS mandate was going to affect the hospital. He said "the what?" I explained what the HHS mandate was. He had never heard of it. Then I said that I'd heard from many Catholics that the mandate will result in Catholic institutions (like hospitals) closing down. He said "it's amazing how those rumors get spread."

    What to make of that? As I've said, from the outside looking in the discussion of who is really Catholic and who isn't; and the discussion of the HHS mandate being a catastrophic disaster for Catholics while the Catholic chaplain at this large hospital has never heard of it. It is really confusing.

  128. Johanne, I can only reply in shock that the chaplain is unbelievably ignorant, to a degree that leaves me breathless. I have no words. Perhaps he should check in with his bishop, but then again, it depends on the diocese. Even though every last bishop has condemned the HHS mandate, some of the bishops are still quite "liberal" for lack of a better word. Do you mind my asking which diocese you are in?

    As for God not being part of politics. Have you been on tour of D.C.? Have you seen the monuments, the documents, down the to etched marble in the Capitol Rotunda that says, "In God We Trust"? Where are you getting the idea that God is not to be in a political platform or in the public square? It is a very, very new idea, not found in any historical America that I can see. God has always been everywhere in public life, for over two centuries now.

    "Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other." -- John Adams

    s/he is less cumbersome than "he or she."

    Honestly, I find that worse. I bristle at it. It actually insults my intelligence that someone thinks I as a woman can't understand that "he" is the generic. Women are just not that stupid. We are really quite smart. Sorry, huge pet peeve of mine.

  129. The Chaplain is going to be very surprised when he starts to witness the civil disobedience.

    Honestly, I would direct the chaplain to the USCCB's website, where there is plenty of info on the HHS mandate and the Church's response (the bishops are suing the US government):

  130. "Practical distinction between Religion and Civil Government is essential to the purity of both, and as guaranteed by the Constitution of the United States."
    —James Madison

    "I contemplate with sovereign reverence that act of the whole American people which declared that their legislature should “make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof,” thus building a wall of separation between Church & State."
    —Thomas Jefferson

    Religion & Government will both exist in greater purity, the less they are mixed together"
    —James Madison

  131. I will ask the other chaplains about it--or perhaps some of the Sisters in administration.

  132. Johanne, those quote are great, but put them in the context of everything else those men wrote.

    And Madison is right: When the government starts meddling in my religion and with my conscience, it (the government) ceases to be pure.

    As for the wall, it's been breached by the government. It needs to stop telling me to violate my religion, and it needs to stop forcing Catholics to submit to its will.

    "Before any man can be considered as a member of Civil Society, he must be considered as a subject of the Governour of the Universe…"

    "We have staked the whole future of American civilization, not upon the power of government, far from it. We have staked the future of all of our political institutions upon the capacity of mankind for self-government; upon the capacity of each and all of us to govern ourselves, to control ourselves, to sustain ourselves according to the Ten Commandments of God."

    "The belief in God all powerful wise and good, is so essential to the moral order of the world and to the happiness of man, that arguments which enforce it cannot be drawn from too many sources nor adapted with too much solicitude to the different characters and capacities to be impressed with it."

    I am interested to know if any of the other folks at the hospital know that the US bishops are so worried about the HHS mandate that they are suing the federal government and that they organized over a week of prayers/adoration/fasting nationwide.

    If not, they really are out of touch, and I cannot understand it.

  133. Manda,
    I didn't meant to imply you thought I would not get in to heaven. I just wanted to let you know I will be there. :o)

    I personally do not think that churches need to marry anyone who asks. They have their rules, if you want to be married in a church you should have to follow their rules. To me it's that simple.

  134. Nubby
    Thank you.
    I too apologize for any offenses toward others.

  135. Leila
    Are there over a billion people in the world who do not believe in god?
    And how many don't believe in heaven or hell?
    So you saying where we end up for eternity should be in the front of our minds is an unfair statement. It is true for you, but not for all.
    What saddens me most is that it makes the implication that the only reason one should be "moral" is so that they get to heaven.

    We disagree about marriage.
    I don't believe marriage predates man. You do.
    I don't believe that marriage binds men to their children and wives. You do.
    I don't believe two persons of the same sex marrying redefines the word. You do.
    I definitely do not think me wanting governmental recognition of my marriage is over stepping my bounds. You do.
    Who is right?

    FYI on the use of the word normal. There is no such thing as normal. There are majorities, but that doesn't make them normal. We have a tendency to think that if a majority holds similiar traits then that is normal. Doesn't make it so.


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